There's no doubt that life ebbs and flows, everybody has experienced the roller-coaster of what it means to be alive. When you're up, you feel untouchable, so far away from your problems. Yet for many who reach this point of happiness, there is a niggling worry. A worry that any minute things will crash.
I know, I've been there.
So what if you could change this? What if your life could be a bit smoother, or you could handle the curve balls and those ups and downs a bit better? The good news is, it's possible. I work with my clients to help them move past their fight or flight moments; so that they can find resilience, strength and stability.
As with all of the techniques I work with, there is no quick fix. But it is certainly helpful to know them in order to begin your own journey. The common symptoms of those low points in life are the feelings of being trapped or having nowhere to go. The feeling that you are being held back. So I've picked seven of the top limiting mindsets that I work with clients on.
Defining your identity
Who are you? What makes you you? Big questions huh. Our identity is a challenging one, we often lean on things like our work or success to define everything that we are. This is fine until you start to dream of the changes you want to make in your life. Whether it be going for a new job or starting a new venture, we can often be confronted with limiting beliefs such as "who am I if I’m not defined by the job I do currently?" or "do I dare to be something else?"
Learn how to overcome this by asking yourself “is this a helpful thought?” and “what would be a more helpful thought?”. The answers will be empowering.
Your time management
Learning how to manage your time, is learning how to set boundaries and to say no. So often when we give ourselves the chance to step back for a moment and look at where the majority of our time is actually going, we see how much more productive we could be.
Learn techniques to help you be productive, like starting Monday morning rituals, turning off your email notifications and committing to looking at them two or three times a day, block out time to do productive work - all the best leaders do this. Start saying no to meetings where you are simply filling a seat and if you are in a job that doesn’t “require you to be on call” leave your work phone (if you have a separate phone) in your desk. And finally, learn to set boundaries around starting and finishing work - people who put work before everything else in life used to be called workaholics.
Your inner critic
That voice in your head which tells you "you can't", sound familiar?
It may not seem like it, but your inner critic is actually there to help you. It's there to prevent you from experiencing pain. Unfortunately, it for some of you it also prevents you from taking the risks you need to take so that you can achieve your dream. The good news is that you can learn important skills to combat it.
Let go of perfection
Opening yourself up to learn new skills or information often means accepting that you cannot achieve perfection straight away. Fear of being less than perfect can hold you back from dipping your toe in to new waters, discovering new ways that you can be happy or from developing new skills.
An example of this is when you are looking to change jobs or industries, or wanting to start out as a freelancer. When we have been in a career for a while we get comfortable, we are the experts. Stepping outside of this means going back to being a beginner, this means you must embrace curiosity, you must learn from things that go wrong.
This in itself is a big journey, it may mean a huge change in the way you identify yourself. My two top tips to help you begin this journey are:
As with before, tearn about your inner critic and how to manage it. When you can start to idetintify your inner critic in the moment, you will see when you are self sabotaging.
Identify whether you need to expand your connections to include new kinds of people, so that you are surrounding yourself with those who are supportive of your journey.
Humility is about adopting an open mindset to the people around you and that you meet. It's about learning to be a follower as much as you are a leader, realising that everybody is on their own path and learning not to judge them as a result of that.
When we get comfortable in our lives and in our jobs, we become used to the fact that we are so good at what we do that it comes to us second nature. So when it comes to learning new things, we expect that it will come naturally to us. We forget how long it took us to learn those things that are familiar to us.
Learn to embrace the fact that we will need to practice things many times to become an expert. We will need to learn all over again what it is like to be not very good at something as we build our competency and expertise. So be kind to yourself.
Ask for help
Accept that you cannot do things alone. We are social creatures, we thrive in the communities we help to build. Asking for help might be learning from other people that have qualities you admire...
If you are starting out on a new venture, remember that copying is underrated. Practice humility and seek those you can learn from. Ask those close to for the time and support needed to focus on developing and building your new venture. When you connect with others who are going through the same journey, you will have someone else to share your trials, tribulations and celebrations with.
We are often hardest on ourselves. When you find yourself berating yourself harshly... ask yourself... would you put up with this from someone else? I would almost guarantee the answer would be no... so learn to embrace the imperfection that is you and this will free you up to enjoy the ups and downs of this challenge.
So there you have it, the seven deadly life skills that will help you move forwards and on to new ventures. Remember that it is the journey, the challenge of growth, that is what makes the adventure of life, of doing what you dream of so exciting and thrilling.