The focus: Limiting beliefs can get in the way of your success.
The opportunity: It doesn't have to be like this.
The solution: Use these 6 steps to challenge your beliefs and create new ones that support your success.
You are what you believe
To a large extent, you are what you believe. That's because your beliefs play a central role in the choices that you make on a daily basis. And the choices that you make each day become your habits over time, which then become your character and finally your destiny. As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu put it:
Beliefs are really just thoughts - thoughts that you accepted as being true, correct, or right at some point in the past. Once you accept an idea as being true, then you develop a belief. Over time, your beliefs often bury themselves in your subconscious mind where they quietly guide your worldview and actions for years to come. This is tremendously beneficial for you when your beliefs are supporting you and serving you well. But, this can also be painfully destructive and confusing for you when your beliefs only serve to hold you back in ways that you're not consciously aware of today.
Do you believe that?
We all inherit and adopt a variety of beliefs that make up our unique worldview. Sometimes these beliefs come from outside of you and are handed down from parents, family, partners, friends, co-workers, and others. Other times, you develop your own beliefs through your particular life experiences and the inner world you create as a result. A belief is neither good nor bad in and of itself; it depends on the results that the belief produces in your life. If a belief is supportive and beneficial, it will lead to successful living. If it is limiting and destructive, it will lead to roadblocks, frustration, and a sense that you are not living up to your full potential.
A limiting belief is an idea that you accept as being true about life, yourself, your world, or the people in it, that limits you in some important way.
Here are some examples of common limiting beliefs:
If a belief is supportive and beneficial, it will lead to successful living.
You might be able to see how the beliefs above can put limits on what you think is possible for you in life. For example, if you truly believe that whenever you show your emotions others will think that you're weak, then you will deny or bury your feelings until they finally overwhelm you. If you can't trust others to do what they say they will do, then you're constantly suspicious of others or taking care of their responsibilities for them. If you don't believe that you deserve to be happier that you are now, then you may be settling when you could be soaring.
6 Tips for Building Better Beliefs
It can be a daunting task to change some of your long held beliefs. But, there are steps you can start taking right now that will help you effectively challenge old limiting beliefs and replace them with all new supportive, empowering ones!
1.) Discover your own limiting beliefs.
The first step in overcoming your limiting beliefs is to identify the ones that you have now. Use the examples above as a guide to get you started. Try to list 3-5 beliefs that you accept about yourself, life in general, or other people that limit you in some important way. Define how they limit you specifically.
2.) Trace your beliefs to the source.
Next, find out where you got each of your beliefs from. Did you think this belief up yourself? Did you inherit it from a parent, family member, partner, friend, co-worker, etc.? How did you come to believe this? If you're not sure, keep these questions in mind as you move on.
3.) Ask yourself if the belief is true.
Now it's time to find out if what you believe is actually true. Is it true, correct, or right for you? Is it supportive and beneficial to you (and others)? Does it lead to successful living? How? In what ways does this belief help you when you need to make an important choice?
4.) Stop taking it personally.
Try letting go of the ways you have identified with your beliefs so that you can gain more perspective on them. For example, instead of saying, "I believe (something)..." try saying, "I notice that I believe (something)...." When you can notice a belief from this more objective point of view, then you will not take it so personally and it will not have the same power to define who you choose to become.
5.) Decide whether it's worth it.
Once you've had some time to define your limiting beliefs and to see the specific ways they negatively affect your life, then you need to decide if they are worth keeping anymore. How does the belief really affect you? What would be different if you believed something else? What would it take for you to choose a new, more supportive and empowering belief?
6.) Replace, review, and repeat.
When you've decided that you have a limiting belief that you're ready to get rid of, it's time to create some new beliefs that will support your success in life. To do this, list 3-5 new beliefs that could replace the old limiting belief. Ask yourself: Is it supportive? Is it empowering? Will it work for me? When will I use it? How will I use it?
When you've created your new beliefs, try them out in your daily life and pay attention to how and when you use them. Ask yourself: What were the results? What did I like? What would I change next time? Would I use this belief again in this way? Finally, repeat the process over a period of time to see how your new beliefs are serving you. Celebrate your victories and enjoy a more successful, fulfilling life!
If you would like help in overcoming your limiting beliefs, please CONTACT me to schedule a free 30 minute session to see if coaching with me could be right for you.
"Change your thoughts and change your world."
- Norman Vincent Peale
The focus: For many of us, self-care is something that ends up on the back burner, if we leave room for it at all.
The opportunity: Effective self-care is essential to reducing daily stress and to living a better, healthier life.
The solution: Use this simple 6-step plan to make self-care work for you, once and for all.
In our busyness and the demands of daily life, we may think that self-care is a luxury we just don't have time for. The truth is, we're all under epidemic levels of stress and self-care is one of the most effective, empowering, and sane ways you can reduce stress, improve your health, and be more fulfilled in all areas of your life.
So, why don't we DO it? There may be as many reasons as there are people on the planet, but there are a few reasons that generally apply to a majority of us. And there's something you can do about those. Before we dive in though, let's start with a definition.
I've found literally dozens of definitions of self-care while researching for this topic, and I'm going to use two of them that I find particularly useful. The first one is short and sweet:
Self-care is taking responsibility for your own health and well-being in all areas of your life.
Pretty simple right? Simple yes, easy no! First off, this says that it's up to you - and nobody else - to take care of yourself. No one can do it for you. You're the only one who can ultimately take responsibility for your own health and well-being. Second, this definition says that you need to do this in every area of your life. Though this is all absolutely true, it can seem like a pretty tall order when stated like this. Let's look at another definition that I feel is more specific and supportive. Try this:
Self-care is an active and powerful choice to engage in the activities that are required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health, including the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social
domains of life.
Notice some differences? I like how this definition starts off with the words "self-care is an active and powerful choice." You may already be feeling better about your willingness to at least THINK about committing to taking charge of your own health and well-being. The reason why is that when presented as a powerful choice you can actively make, self-care can seem less daunting, more doable, and even (at least a little) inspirational. If you currently have a negative view of self-care, reframing your view in this way can give you the extra oomph you need to move towards a positive choice to commit.
And the choice you're committing to is "to engage in the activities that are required to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health." When you engage in something, you are typically all in. You are consciously connected with the choice you are making at both an intellectual and emotional level. Head and heart come together, which is absolutely necessary in order to stay motivated for any length of time. Deep down, you likely already know that activities related to good self-care are "required," but here again you're given another choice: "to gain or maintain an optimal level of overall health."
To me, this definition isn't saying that you have to improve or else! Instead, it says that you can either gain OR maintain an optimal level of health. The goal is optimal health in all areas of life, not a never-ending quest for the perfect body, relationship, spirituality, etc. What optimal health means to you can be a matter of interpretation. You're not after perfection. The quest for perfection is a path to self-criticism and disappointment. Instead, as they say in 12-step meetings, strive for progress, not perfection.
What optimal health means to you can be a matter of interpretation. You're not after perfection. The quest for perfection is a path to self-criticism and disappointment.
4 Reasons We Don't Do It
TOO BUSY or TIRED
In our society, busy is the norm. The expectation is that if you're not busy, then you're not measuring up. If you're not regularly tired and stressed from being busy, then you're not doing your part to be productive. In essence, if you're not busy, you're not normal. You may have had "busy battles" with friends and family to prove to each other just how busy you are. We tend to wear our busyness like badges of honor, and whoever has the most busyness wins. Even more challenging is when we tie the social expectation to stay busy with our own sense of self-worth. The trap here is that you're never busy enough to feel good about yourself for long because there is always something else that needs to be done. Self-care is difficult to even consider if you strongly believe that staying busy is more important than your overall health and well-being.
You might think that it's just plain selfish to take time for yourself. Care givers are especially vulnerable to this pitfall. With so many other people to take care of, isn't it a waste of time to indulge in self-care? No, of course not! Like the old quote goes, "Just like on a plane, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before trying to help others." When you are not at your personal best physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially, you can not give your best to others. Chronic stress, compassion fatigue, and burnout are common for helpers who can not effectively prioritize self-care.
Just like on a plane, you need to put on your own oxygen mask first before trying to help others.
To some, self-care can seem like a sign of weakness instead of the strength that it is. Not taking care of yourself over the long run means that others will do it FOR you instead, and sooner rather than later - in the form of doctors, hospitals, family members, and the list goes on and on.... If you value your strength and independence, take care of yourself starting now. And if your understanding of self-care is all rainbows and lollipops, you've got the wrong idea. Remember, self-care is all about optimal health, and that's anything but soft.
Others believe that it will never happen to them. The heart attack, the stroke, the injury, the spiritual crisis, the nervous breakdown, etc. We've all heard stories of those who never thought it would happen to them either. Don't fool yourself by thinking it's too soon to worry about self-care. This is the perfect time to get started. Why leave your health and well-being to chance when you could do something about it right now?
Ok, no more excuses. Let's do this.
Create Your Own 6-Step Self-Care Plan
Here are 6 simple steps to help make self-care work for you, once and for all.
1.) First, make a commitment to take responsibility for your own self-care. No one can do this for you. You are worth it!
My commitment is to:_________________________________________________________________________________.
2.) Next, take action. Prioritize the top 1-3 domains of your life (listed in the chart below) you want to focus on first. (Ex. physical, social, emotional)
My top 1-3 domains of life are:_______________________________________________________________________.
3.) Get specific. Exactly how do you want to improve your self-care in each area? List 1-3 things you will do in each domain.
The 1-3 things I will do in each domain are:
4.) Schedule it. Put these on your calendar, mobile device, bathroom mirror, office desk, work station, etc. SCHEDULE IT.
I have scheduled each of my specific goals. __YES __NO (If you selected "no," repeat step #4.)
5.) Tell somebody. Let friends, family, and co-workers know what you're doing and why it's important to you. Ask for support!
I have told somebody about my important self-care goals. __YES __NO ("Yes" is required.)
6.) Do it. Follow your plan and treat yourself to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Get an accountability buddy and stick to it. Celebrate your successes, and be honest about your setbacks. You can do it!
I am following my plan and have an accountability buddy. __YES __ NO (Say "yes"to your life!)
The Domains of Life
Simple definitions of each of the domains of life.
PHYSICAL: anything having to do with the body, including physical exercise and nutrition.
MENTAL: anything having to do with the mind.
EMOTIONAL: anything having to do with the feelings and emotions.
SPIRITUAL: anything having to do with something greater than ourselves alone.
SOCIAL: anything having to do with the people we are connected to, including friends, family, and co-workers.
For more great tips and insights, listen to my Blog Talk Radio interview with host Sharissa Sebastian.
Right now, I'm offering a special program designed specifically for people who want to avoid burnout and take their success to the next level. TAP or CLICK the image above to learn how you can beat the burnout and be successful in all areas of your life.
The focus: Your inner critic is that little voice in your head that says that you're not good enough, you can't do it, and you should just stop trying.
The opportunity: Though it often seems like the loudest voice in your head, the inner critic can be silenced at last and understood as something less than your best and truest self.
The solution: Use these 4 tips to put this annoying little "helper" in place and become a more confident and capable you.
Tip 1.) Stop the War
Let's face it. Most of us treat ourselves worse than we would treat our enemies. But why, and more importantly, what can we do about it? A famous conversation between a group of western spiritual teachers and the Dalai Lama a few years ago revealed that not every culture in the world shares this problem. As the western teachers were talking about the concept of "self-loathing," the Dalai Lama became confused and had to ask his interpreters repeatedly for clarification. He couldn't understand what this "self-loathing" was, and why we would have such a destructive view of ourselves. When he finally got clear, his response was a deep sense of sorrow and compassion for people that could be so separated from themselves in these negative and isolating ways. That should be our response too. We have to stop the war inside ourselves if we want to live a better and more fulfilling life.
Tip 2.) Don't believe the hype
The inner critic is a complicated beast, but it's essentially that voice in your head that says things like:
"You're not good enough."
"Who do you think you are anyway?"
"You deserve to be unhappy."
"No one understands me."
"I am not ever going to get better."
"Same sh%t, different day."
We have to stop the war inside ourselves if we want to live a better and more fulfilling life.
If you're feeling down in the dumps after reading these statements, you're not alone (I'm right there with you at some level). It could be that these words simply resonate with the messages of your own inner critic. If that's the case, then welcome to the club! There are millions of people just like you, though your inner critic would love for you to believe otherwise. The good news is that your inner critic is really just old news, hype about who and what you are that comes from the past. Sometimes we inherit these messages from our parents, friends, co-workers, or we invent them ourselves. Wherever they come from, it's time to put the hype aside and turn the tables toward a better and more honest version of who and what you really are.
Tip 3.) Unleash your inner champion
Believe it or not, your inner critic is actually trying to help you, sort of. It's attempting to keep you safe, secure, and protected from possible threats of all kinds. Embarrassment, social sabotage, psychological damage, and even physical threats are all on its radar. But, things get toxic when these good intentions become judgmental and overinflated. We live in a highly critical society, and we judge each other harshly for mistakes and minor failures that are inevitable to being human. It happens everyday to good people we know and love (and everyone else too). Because we know this, we feel afraid of being judged or criticized ourselves, so we build a fortress of thoughts to fight these fears, hoping that we might stay safe and secure, hidden away from any possible threat to our true sense of self. Living this way is living small, and you deserve better - we all do.
The good news is that your inner critic is really just old news, hype about who and what you are that comes from the past.
After you stop the inner war and let go of the hype, then you're ready to tap into your inner champion. This is the you that you know you are, the one you left behind, the one you forgot about, the one you underestimated until now. Pick up your dreams, reconnect with what matters most to you, and play by a new set of rules. Challenge your old ideas about what is possible for you and take risks. Become unstoppable by listening only to the voice inside that wants you to succeed, to be happy, to be more of who you really are. And don't look back, except to help the next person behind you to do the same thing.
Tip 4.) Look for the Good
Your inner critic is looking for what's wrong, what's missing, what's impossible. Turn your world upside down and look for what's right, what's here now, what's possible in everyone and everything. Look for the good in yourself and others from the moment you get up in the morning to the moment your head hits the pillow. Don't settle for anything less. And if you can't do that, remember you're not alone. Avoid judging yourself when you fall short, because we all do sometimes. The important thing is to keep moving forward and never give up on who you are. You are worth it, but don't take my word for it. Just ask the person who's been worth waiting for all this time. You.
If you would like help in overcoming your own inner critic, CONTACT me to schedule a free 30 minute coaching session to see if coaching with me could be right for you.
Recently, I was invited to a week long camp in Oklahoma City for private piano students ranging in age from 6th-11th grade. The camp is put on by the Central Oklahoma Music Teachers Association and is a truly incredible experience for every kid that gets to attend. I count myself fortunate to have been asked to be part of something so special and supportive. My purpose was to provide activities and strategies to help these talented young people reduce stress and performance anxiety (aka "stage fright") associated with practice, rehearsals, auditions, and ultimately competitions.
For those of you who are musicians that play at a competitive level, most you totally get this already. In fact, ANYone who does ANYthing at a high competitive level likely gets this. When I asked these kids what stresses them out most about playing the piano, here are a few of their responses:
"I have a fear of big crowds."
"The pressure to always be improving."
"Not playing a right note."
"The domino effect. One thing goes wrong and the rest falls behind it."
"Being judged or critiqued."
"Never feeling prepared enough."
Sound familiar to you? It does to me. As a guitarist, singer, public speaker and person who has come to terms (most of the time) with performance anxiety, all of these responses have resonated with me at one point in time or another.
To be fair, there were also two kids that said "nothing stresses me out about it." That represents about 5% of the total responses and is wonderful to hear. However, a large majority of these students have some level of stress and anxiety around the instrument that they spend a significant amount of their time with every week.
Over the course of the week, I worked with students in small groups and offered them a variety of guided practices they could try and use to lower their stress and anxiety. One of the favorites by far was an exercise I call "Count it Out." The basic idea is to keep your attention on your breath by counting along with the in and out breaths. Several kids mentioned this practiced helped them to get to sleep at night, reduced their distractions at home, and lessened their performance anxiety. Try it for yourself with my free guided meditation below.
Another favorite practice was one I call "Take a Minute to Have a Seat." I literally asked the kids to take a full minute to sit down in a chair. To do the practice yourself, start off by standing in front of a chair. Set a timer for one minute and begin slowly sitting down, noticing what it's like to sit down in a more conscious - if not hilariously awkward - way. Check in with your timer and try to wait until the entire minute has passed until you are finally completely seated. What are your thoughts like? What feelings come up? How does your body respond to sitting down in this way?
For camp, I added a little excitement to the activity and gave each group a "secret challenge." I asked them to do this exercise in another one of their sessions at camp without telling the instructor what they were doing. One group accepted the challenge and didn't let on until they had taken a full minute to sit at their keyboards! It was a great way to let everyone know that mindfulness isn't about taking ourselves too seriously, and that we can practice it wherever we are and with whatever we are doing. Because to me, mindfulness is essentially being fully present, aware of where we are and what we're doing, with an interested an accepting attitude. And who of us couldn't use a little more of that?
"Mindfulness is being fully present, aware of where we are and what we're doing, with an interested and accepting attitude."
At the end of the week, I received several letters from the students that moved me and reinforced the fact that these practices change our lives in important ways. Here are a few of my favorites:
"Thank you for teaching us about mindfulness! I suffer from anxiety and it kind of gets in the way of my life. But the tactics you gave me will definitely help me not only with piano but in my life as well."
"Thank you so much for teaching mindfulness this week. I'm [active in another competitive sport] so I get REALLY nervous before I go to a competition. Some of the exercises that you taught me might help me not get so nervous."
"Thank you so much for doing mindfulness class! I loved it! It was awesome to relax for a couple of min.! I have been having trouble sleeping lately because I could not calm down. Mindfulness helped me a lot!"
"Thank you so much for coming to camp and helping us with mindfulness. It really helped me with performance anxiety."
Full Integration Coaching is excited to bring the benefits of performance coaching to students at Lakeside Piano Studios in Edmond, Oklahoma. Coaching is offered via group classes and one-on-one sessions. Topics include: mindfulness training, goal prioritization, performance anxiety strategies, schedule balancing, and more. TAP or CLICK the video above to learn more!
KAMP KEYBOARD MINDFULNESS TRAINING 2016 TEACHER REVIEWS
"Charles Gosset is a natural while working with all ages, children and adults. He provides a service desperately needed in today’s busy, noisy, hi-tech environment. Today’s students simply don’t know how to quiet their minds, and redirect their thoughts. Charles has helped our students become 'mindful' of their environment, and quiet thoughts that get in the way of their studies, and performances. Our students talk very highly of his class, and of the 'new' tools they have learned. They have described his classes as 'life changing!' I agree!!"
"Charles Gosset is an incredibly perceptive man who gently helps individuals dig in to their potential. He has helped my piano students that attended Kamp Keyboard with their performance anxiety through practical exercises and meaningful discussions on awareness of the body and mind. He provides the perfect environment for individuals to open up and explore how their minds work in order to be aware in various situations as well as how to accept our human responses to them. He is great for all age ranges and backgrounds and makes everyone feel welcome and safe to grow. I would definitely recommend Charles to professional musicians and athletes as well as children with any kind of anxieties related to performing and group participation."
"The mindfulness and performance enhancement sessions Charles led at Kamp Keyboard were well received by our piano students. He was able to share practical ways to combat stressful situations that we all go through as musicians, and even just as human beings. There is a positive energy about Charles, and it’s one that puts everyone at ease in his sessions. This helped the students feel comfortable to share their experiences with each other - there is no wrong answer! I was fortunate enough to sit in on these sessions with the students. I learned many helpful tools about being mindful and dealing with stress that I’m able to use in my daily life, and have also been able to share with my students. I would definitely recommend Charles to people of all ages, and experiences!"
"Charles Gosset is a man full of compassion, understanding, empathy, grace and love for people. His ease with working with individuals of all ages is a rare ability. I have attended a pilgrimage retreat led by Charles and found it to be a peaceful time allowing me to reconnect to Divine. I have also witnessed Charles interacting with students. It gives me great joy to see how well he connects with them. The meditation and breathing exercises he shares with students have been a wonderful lifeline for many. The reflection time he brings to his classes allows the students to be still and to learn how to be comfortable in who they are in that very moment. The skills that he is sharing with the students not only helps them during practice and performance sessions, but he shares ways that these skills are useful in every area of their life. Mark 10:21 says that when a young man asked a question of Jesus that Jesus looked on the man, loved him and then spoke. I believe that Charles Gosset approaches every relationship with that same approach – he sees, he loves and then speaks."
The focus: Keeping your sobriety in tact on holidays like the Fourth of July can be tough , especially if you're new to recovery.
The opportunity: With the right perspective and effective strategies, you can celebrate without regrets.
The solution: Use these 4 tips to stay sober and enjoy your newfound freedom, plus know what you did the night before.
Tip 1). Remember What It Was Like
I was a practicing alcoholic for 16 years, and while there were definitely some good times, there came a point where the bad times far outweighed the good. That misery lasted for what seemed like an eternity, one demoralizing day after the next. Black outs, red outs, insane behavior, institutions, and debilitating depression became the party life for me. Been there, done that.
Toward the end of my drinking career, I wasn't the kind of guy you wanted to know after a few drinks. In fact, I didn't want to know me either. I had gone so far off course from who I knew I was deep down inside. The end was coming one way or another, and thankfully in my case, that meant eventually getting sober. Remembering how many times alcohol has been at the center of your problems in the past helps motivate you in positive ways to continue seeking progress in your life.
On top of all of this, we have a running commentary in our brains from that little voice that is always giving us opinions and offering advice on any and every thing that we experience. Some of us (like me) have entire committees giving us their input, whether we ask for it or not. It's a wonder we're not all completely insane!
to sit quietly in a room alone."
- Blaise Pascal
• lower stress
• reduce anxiety
• lower blood pressure
• reduce chronic pain
• improve mental clarity
• increase emotional awareness
• increase engagement in activities
• form deeper connections with others
BEGINNING A REGULAR MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
FORMAL MINDFULNESS - MINDFULNESS MEDITATION (10 to 20 mintues daily)
*You can also follow along with the guided "Mindfulness of the Breath" meditation below.
1.) Set a timer for 10-20 minutes. Find a place that is relatively free from distractions. Sit comfortably in an upright chair or on the floor. Make sure that your back is straight and that your spine and neck are supported. You should be alert but not rigid. Give yourself permission to be here now. You can close your eyes or keep them opened and softly focused.
2.) Take several deep breaths in and out. On the in breath, you may want to quietly say in the back of your mind, "peace." On the out breath, you can say "stress." Continue breathing in "peace" and breathing out "stress" until you feel that you are mostly present and centered. Give your attention to this meditation session in a way that is genuinely interested and accepting of whatever happens.
3.) Begin to breathe normally. Pay attention to where you feel the breath as you breathe in and out. Do you feel it at the tip of the nose? The back of the throat? The chest or abdomen? Also, notice the temperature of the air as you breathe in and out. When is it warm? When is it cool? Wherever you notice the breath most strongly, keep your attention there as you continue to breathe normally.
4.) The mind will wander. This is normal. To help your mind stay focused, you can softly say in the back of your mind, "breathing in" and "breathing out." Each time your attention wanders, simply return to the breath by using these words along with noticing where you feel the breath most.
5.) Continue breathing normally and keep coming back to the breath when your mind wanders. We all get lost in our thoughts and stories during meditation. The important point is that you keep coming back to the breath. Every time you return to the breath is actually a moment of mindfulness. Avoid criticizing yourself or trying too hard to figure this all out. Practice makes progress.
6.) When your timer goes off, return your attention to the space where you are seated. Take one or two deep breaths and then go about the rest of your day, bringing a little more mindfulness into everything you do. You may want to journal about your experiences following your meditation sessions to deepen your practice and to review your progress over time.
Along with meditation, it's important to practice mindfulness as a part of our daily tasks and routines. Try one or two of these informal mindfulness practices per week and as often as possible each day. Simply keep your attention on the task itself, and when your mind wanders, bring your attention back to the task.
• brushing your teeth
• taking a shower
• eating a meal
• opening doors
• composing an email
• answering a phone call
• checking social media
• stopping in traffic
If you would like help bringing more mindfulness into your life and work, CONTACT me to schedule a free 30 minute session to see if coaching could be right for you.
Click below for an 8-minute guided meditation covering mindfulness of the breath.
Listen to my Blog Talk Radio interview about mindfulness with host Sharissa Sebastian.
The opportunity: Changing your habits can help you maximize your time and energy.
The solution: Get control of your routine and make the most of your days with these 5 powerful tips.
I've been reflecting recently on how I structure my day according to my priorities and what will give me the most benefit (based on Pareto's Principle which states that roughly 20% of actions produce 80% of results). In doing this, I realized that I wasn't optimizing the time of the day when I'm at my most productive so I decided to change my routine.
It's critical to prepare your heart, your mind, and your body first thing in the morning. Will power is a lot like a muscle. Your will power is at its strongest first thing in the morning. The hours from 5 - 8am are the golden hours. This is when you have the most mental power and focus. When you optimize these hours, you will do more in a day than most people do in a month. Winning the battle of the bed gives you more mental confidence and makes you feel more like a leader than a victim.
According to research it takes 66 days of practice to hardwire in a new mental pathway to start a habit until it becomes part of your neural hardwiring. You will literally not be able to get up later after 5am after 66 days.
Here's the 20/20/20 rule for the first hour that I learned from Robin Sharma. He suggests waking up at exactly 5am every morning but I wake up at 4:45am to allow enough time to have a protein shake. Eating a meal within 30 minutes of waking will help increase the rate of your metabolism which has slowed down to conserve the stored energy.
First 20 minutes - Exercise (walk, run, swim, jump rope, etc). That's a complete game changer. This releases dopamine, the motivational neurotransmitter, and makes you feel strong. It will also release serotonin which makes you feel happier. You'll boost your metabolic rate and feel more energized.
Second 20 minutes - Review plan, daily schedule, purpose. It will give you focus, passion, inspiration. The secret of passion is to know your daily, yearly and even lifetime purpose. I spend a few minutes doing this and the rest of the time in prayer/meditation.
Last 20 minutes - Learn. 'Education is inoculation against disruption'. The world belongs to learners. As you know more you can achieve more. Read ebooks, listen to audio books, listen to Ted talks, or read a hard copy of a book.
Here are some tips to help with your routine:
1. Plan rising at 5am on your daily schedule. Write your holy hour on your schedule. When you write things down you literally deepen your commitment. It deepens it in your awareness and gives you the discipline we need. It also increases clarity of thought. The things you get scheduled are the things that get done. Vague goals lead to vague results.
2. Get a great nights rest. Don't use your computer before you go to sleep. Do not bring that into the bedroom. Don't watch TV before you go to sleep in bed. To get the results only 5% of the population gets, you have to be prepared to do the things only 5% of population is willing to do.
3. Put your alarm clock in another room or across the room so you have to get out of bed when it goes off.
4. Rituals work more than will power. Literally jump out of bed, maybe splash your face with water, and say your affirmations. You will become super productive, transform your mindset and become a super achiever.
5. Keep what's motivating you at the forefront of your mind. This could be looking at your vision board, or just mentally focusing on your personal or professional goals and why they're important to you. Having an accountability partner to keep you on track also helps.
Are you ready to join the 5am club with me?
~ Victor Hugo
The opportunity: There's something you can do about it.
The solution: You can consciously challenge your assumptions and let go of ones that don't serve you.
I ASSUME YOU KNEW
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE PAST
It can be difficult to recognize assumptions because they tend to be buried deep in our subconscious minds where they become ingrained with our personal worldview. We can literally "assume" that our assumptions are just the way things are for us and that there's nothing we can do to change them. Fortunately, that couldn't be further from the truth. You have the power and ability to challenge and change your negative assumptions once you first learn how to spot these slippery tricksters.
ASSUME THE BEST
POSITIVE ASSUMPTIONS (supportive, growth-oriented, affirmative)
► Every time a person makes a mistake, they are doing the best they can with what they know.
► Whenever one door closes in my life, another one opens.
► The world always provides what people need to survive.
► All obstacles in my business are opportunities.
NEGATIVE ASSUMPTIONS (unsupportive, destructive, deflating)
► When people make mistakes, it's because they're wrong for the task.
► When it rains in my life, it really pours.
► The world is dog eat dog and everyone has to take what they want or they won't have enough.
► Something is always getting in the way of my business success.
Now, let's consider the effects that these assumptions above might have on our experiences:
POSITIVE ASSUMPTION EFFECTS
→ If I truly believe that people are always doing the best they can, then I may generally trust people to do what they say they will even if they make mistakes. This frees me up to concentrate on my own responsibilities and make the most of my relationships.
→ If I believe that the loss of one opportunity just means that a new one is coming my way, then I may take it less personally when I don't get my own way. This allows me to move on more quickly and to stay flexible in my life.
→ If I believe that the world gives us what we need to survive, then I may feel that the world is a safe and good place to be. This gives me greater confidence that my basic needs will be met and that I can concentrate on discovering my passion, purpose and potential.
→ If I believe that every obstacle in the development of my business really contains an opportunity, then I may be significantly less stressed when things don't go as planned. This means that I have more room for maintaining clear vision and developing great communication with my leadership team.
NEGATIVE ASSUMPTION EFFECTS
→ If I believe that when people make mistakes it means they're the wrong person for the job, then I may be placing limits on others that are untrue and unfair. This narrows my perspective of what others are capable of doing and makes me judgmental and critical in my relationships, instead of supportive and encouraging.
→ If I believe that one bad experience in my life inevitably leads to another, then I may be taking events in my life very personally. This causes me to be easily hurt and to feel isolated, which then leads to overlooking important opportunities when they come up.
→ If I believe that the world is dog eat dog, then I may be distrustful of others and overly aggressive in my interactions with people. This takes effort on my part to stay on guard, ready to protect what I think I might lose, when what I'm really missing is purpose, passion and a sense of connection.
→ If I believe that something is always getting in the way of my business success, then I may be headed for burnout and overwhelming stress. This means that I stay in survival mode and that I rule over my leadership team instead of inspiring them to greatness and leading by example.
STRATEGIES FOR PUTTING ASSUMPTIONS TO REST
- Marshall McLuhan
1. BECOME MORE AWARE OF YOUR THOUGHT LIFE.
The place to start is to simply become more aware of the thoughts that your mind is thinking on a daily basis. Most of us are so busy that we're running on unconscious "auto-pilot" mode much of the time. But just because we're not paying attention doesn't mean that our minds aren't still producing thousands of thoughts everyday! Begin by noticing more of your thoughts. You can ask: "What am I thinking about right now?", "What have I been thinking for the past several minutes?", or "What has been on my mind this week?"
2. TAKE A SIMPLE DAILY INVENTORY.
Now that you have started noticing your thoughts, it's time to gather more information. Start to keep a simple daily inventory of some of your thoughts that stand out to you each day. Make this as simple as possible, but also be specific. Try to list at least 3-5 outstanding thoughts for every day. Take note of any feelings that come up along with the thoughts and write those down too. You can use a journal or a mobile device to keep track of your inventory. We're not looking for anything else yet, just more awareness of thoughts and how they affect your feelings and ultimately your actions.
3. GROW YOUR INTUITIVE MUSCLE.
One of the biggest obstacles to overcoming negative assumptions is seeing them clearly when they come up in our minds. Most of us have a lot of clutter in our brains that distorts and clouds our inner vision. The best way to clear the clutter is to practice some form of meditation or intentional activity. When we stop and give our attention to something supportive and calm then we gain mental clarity and tap into our intuition, which bypasses our thinking brains and moves us much deeper into our conscious minds.
I've found mindfulness to be a very useful and meaningful practice to help develop more intuition and awareness. You can find great free resources on the Mindful Magazine website.
4. ALIGN WITH YOUR VALUES.
Values are the principles that we live by which we have determined to be important in life. They are central motivators for what drives us to do the things we do, both great and small. By making sure that you're aligned with your own highest values, you will get even more clarity around your thoughts and the feelings and actions that go along with them. When you're aligned with your values it means that you are walking your talk. When those pesky negative assumptions come up, they will raise a red flag internally because they are likely not connected with your values. Now we're making progress!
5. DEFINE A PERSONAL/PROFESSIONAL MISSION STATEMENT.
Next, take this a step further and come up with your own personal and/or professional mission statement. Having a mission statement goes even deeper to connect your sense of purpose and passion with your values and beliefs. Again, keep it simple but be specific. For a terrific resource to help you get started, check out WikiHow's article on how to write a personal mission statement.
6. REFLECT, REPLACE, AND REVIEW.
Finally, take some time to reflect on your work in the previous steps. By this time, you will have likely started noticing a few negative assumptions that are affecting you and those around you. What are they? Are you able to list them, or are they still a bit hazy? Make sure to include positive assumptions as well. What are they? Can you list them?
Do your very best to list 3-5 of your own negative assumptions, and 3-5 positive assumptions. Write a sentence or two next to each one describing how they affect your life and the life of those around you. Then consider whether each assumption is worth keeping to you. Ask yourself: "Does this assumption align with my values?", "Is this something I want to hold on to?", "What could I replace this negative assumption with?", "What do I like most about this positive assumption?", "Is this true for me?"
When you find assumptions that you no longer want to keep, make a conscious choice to let each one go and write down a concrete, supportive and growth-oriented assumption to take its place. When you've done that, practice using the new assumption and continue your daily inventory. Keep it up, review your progress, and make sure to celebrate the times you are successful!
If you would like help in challenging and changing your negative assumptions, CONTACT me to schedule a free 30 minute session to see if coaching could be right for you.