Personal Development – Boring. Yawnfest. Heard it all before. Bla,bla, bla.
If you don’t relate, if personal development does not resonate with you, then please, please, please do share your success strategies with us. How do you stay joyful and well, mentally, physically, financially, emotionally? What are your methods for holding it all together? What are your techniques for being super fit and healthy and building a successful life, business and marriage etc.? If you don’t partake in personal development activities, how do you grow and flourish in this life?
I believe it is a truth. If we are not growing and moving forward that we are actually atrophying and moving backwards.
What I am about to share are the five golden rules I have discovered, for holding it all together in life. Let’s face it, life is complex, unpredictable, ever-changing, hard, brutal, unforgiving, relentless, demanding, exhausting even. And it is mysterious, interesting, abundant, unlimited, stimulating, epic, beautiful, fun and exciting. Your choice.
Let me ask, do you have a passion or a hobby? I’m driving at, what drives you?
One of my passions is singing. Recently I was approached to get involved in a project that required me singing some pretty big songs by a pretty world-class singer, but, it would require a big up-levelling of my singing abilities. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t sing those songs, and give them justice. Long story short. I can. And, it took some pretty consistent practice and it takes ongoing consistent practice to hold my skill at the required level. Why was I so astounded at my ability to learn how to sing those songs? I guess because, for all of my singing career, I didn’t think I was much chop as a singer, there were so many people way better and so many songs I couldn’t cover. I was just average at best, but, I loved it so much I kept on doing it. I am astounded and chuffed and kinda proud that I could actually improve my signing ability and shock of all shocks, it took desire and practice. Not arduous hours, just something each day. Dedicated consistency and a resolve to uplevel. It is worth it. Who would have thought to practice to develop works? Now I have incredible performance opportunities lining up as a result. Life is challenging but mostly mysterious, interesting, abundant, unlimited, stimulating, epic, beautiful, fun and exciting, my choice.
My point is, our human biology is uber adaptive, for good or for bad. Our brain and our cognitive and thinking systems are so very adaptive depending on what you put in front of it. Given we have up to 70,000 thoughts per day, unchecked and untamed, these thoughts start to weigh in on themselves and we can easily become cognitively sluggish and ineffective. We don’t just stay the same. Some of our changes are not instantly visible to the eye, but the changes are happening. It doesn’t take too long to start seeing the waste line expand given a change in diet or an increase in pizza consumption. It doesn’t take too long to start noticing behaviour changes in yourself or in your staff or in your kids when they start hanging out with new associations, good or not so good. So, how can people not value or see the absolutely essential nature of ensuring our biological adaptive tendencies and processes are positive, productive, deliberate and healthy ones?
So getting back to my promise of sharing the five golden rules for purposeful self-development and self-mastery that I have discovered in my years of coaching and counselling and training and living and learning:
- Cognitive mastery – what are you doing with your thoughts? Thoughts become things. Thoughts have the ability to create energy or deplete energy, to make you feel good or bad. Becoming the director of your thoughts is your goal. Noticing your thoughts by being the observer of them. “Is that a productive, useful thought?”. “What thought would be the most beneficial for me right now?”
- Emotional mastery – noticing what triggers your emotions and where your urges tend to come from and becoming more, ‘onto them’. As opposed to being hijacked by them or reactive to them. Name the emotions, and consider what really is underneath that emotion. If we are reactive to our emotions, often we miss the real reason that emotion has surfaced. Develop more of a self-aware approach to your emotions and how to process them. We have what is known as secondary emotions, and it is the initial emotion that can seem like the real one and it will throw us off course when trying to determine, what is under the real or secondary emotion. (This is why sometimes we need a coach or a counsellor to help navigate through some of the complexities)
- Beliefs – ok, this one is a little tricky to do on your own. Some of our beliefs are very obvious. Some are very covert. Every human has covert beliefs. Those covert beliefs are informing your emotions and many of your 70,000 thoughts per day. What this means for many folks is they have blocks and limiting beliefs holding them back or casually sabotaging certain aspects of their life. One of the most common areas covert beliefs effect is self-worth. This will have an effect on financial flow, relationship stability and self-image to name a few of the common symptoms of covert beliefs. I suggest working with a counsellor or a coach to explore this area with you and to uncover and rewrite any faulty covert beliefs.
- Habits and Rituals – What you do on a consistent basis, shapes you and your life. A brain is a habit machine so it looks for patterns so that it does not have to think too much so it can set as much as possible onto auto pilot. Be deliberate and mindful of what you do with your time. From the moment you open your eyes in the morning to the time you hit the pillow at night. Many of us have the ritual of opening our eyes and checking our phones. Worst ritual ever! You are a human, not a robot. I mean, humans thrive on certain activities in order to remain well and functional. Sure you can look at your phone first thing in the morning, that seems like nothing too harmful. So, just image the health implications if you compare, opening your eyes, having deliberate positive affirmations ready to run through your cognitive brain, deliberately creating a positive environment in the mind first up. Moving on to time in a quiet and tranquil place in your home or in a park for some stretching and uplifting contemplation or reading or journaling. As opposed to jumping directly into the hustle of the day, directly into work mode thinking with no deliberate intentions set as to how you want to feel and function throughout your day. Habits and rituals are what shape you. What you eat and when. What you do and when. Pick them consciously, have more of a command over your minutes and hours so they shape you and your life the way you desire, according to your vision and goals.
- Navigational system – Vision and goals. Having a strong sense of what you want your life to be about, how you want to experience life and how you want to colour it in. The bigger picture stuff. The long-term and the short-term goals. Whether they are SMART goals or SAFE goals. If these things are not guiding and motivating you, what is? Know your greatest priorities. They will guide you through the tough decisions. They will help you set strong boundaries. One of the most common symptoms of not having a bigger picture vision and goals is depression. You jump on a hamster wheel and run like mad each day and it is uninspiring, overwhelming and tiring. If you don’t have a strong sense of vision for your life and at least a sense of some goals, get some professional support to help you to understand your own heart and mind and needs and wants and desires so that you can start living a life that fills your cup, that fills your heart.
The seasons keep on changing, so we must keep on nurturing and developing our own selves to stay true to our changing self and to stay current and productive and well and healthy. If you want to flourish, you have to nourish. Personal development is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Full stop.
Your Star of Confidence Program has been developed to take you through all five areas listed above in order to shine a light on you and how you are functioning. This opens the way for you and to make any adjustments required in order to keep yourself well and on track and on purpose and to have more self-mastery and less overwhelm. Happy days.
Yours in personal success and happiness.