Thursday, 21 April 2016

...I used to have a little, now I have a lot...

I'm still feeling my musical references and the title of this week's post is from the J-Lo song; "Jenny from the block". I've been feeling a little tested recently, concerning my complicated relationship with food and money. I know what I'm supposed to do. I've read the books, been to the seminars and been on the receiving end of a fair few lectures about how to handle my relationship with both of these things. Somehow though, in spite of my best intentions, I still end up ignoring all the good advice and circling back to the beginning. Very frustrating I must say! These are the 2 areas that trouble me the most. For you, it may be other things. This post is for anyone who is at best puzzled and at worst frustrated by their self defeating behaviours and wondering what's going on.

The first thing to know is that our beliefs drive us.  It doesn't matter whether they are conscious or unconscious, our behaviour is informed by our beliefs. It's a bit like driving and why you have to keep looking down the road and not at the car in front of you. What you focus on, you head towards. When I was learning to drive, I could never understand why chanting "do not hit the kerb" led me inexorably in the direction of said kerb! The most challenging beliefs are actually those ones that we are no longer conscious of. Those beliefs are so entrenched, because we are no longer even aware that they are dictating our behaviour. When it comes to money, my belief is "feast or famine". Actually it's worse than that, it's actually "I'm afraid of money, I don't know what to do with it and if I don't have any, then I don't have to learn how to handle it". It's taken me ages to work out that is a belief that I have around money. It's taken me even longer to be able to admit it. There's a real feeling of shame about how I relate to money and not wanting anyone to know about it. I know it's not logical, but that's how I feel. So, when you've done the work to identify what your belief is, what do you do then? Well, that's my second point:

You've got to expose that sucker to the light! A lot of us, are operating from our own beliefs, our parents' beliefs, our friends' beliefs and society's beliefs. That's a lot of baggage. Worst of all, the vast majority of them are unhelpful to us and only serve to keep us running around like headless chickens!  Monsters live in the dark. Expose them to the light and they begin to look far less scary. It works the same way with our beliefs. Once we start really looking at them, we begin to see them for what they really are and have the option to come up with ways to deal with them. Once we change our beliefs, our actions change. If we are serious about changing our lives, we have to think about what we are thinking about and make the necessary changes. Depending on what we are dealing with, we could do the work on our own. However, some beliefs are so entrenched that we need help to surface them and to tackle them. Exposing things to light is a powerful thing- just ask Dracula! Whether you enlist the help of a friend or a counsellor or a coach, the key thing is to get the help you need.

Finally, buckle up for the ride. It will take time and there will be setbacks along the way. The key thing to remember is that these beliefs may have been there for a long time and it's always going to be easiest to take the path of least resistance. The question is how badly do you want to change? If it's less painful to maintain the status quo, than to change, then that's what you're likely to do. You will find a way to live with the situation, no matter how dysfunctional it is. However, once change becomes the less painful option, that's usually the starting point for most people making the changes they need to.

So I've shared mine and now you get to share yours. What's been challenging/frustrating/perplexing you and you don't seem to be able to get a hold of it? Would you say it's a belief or something else? Have you successfully managed to overcome a negative, limiting belief? Either way, I'd love to hear from you.  You can call on +234 706 335 0864 or reach me through the website.  Be sure to leave a comment below and let's keep the conversation going.

Until next time, go well.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

...keep on moving straight ahead...

Phew! So it's been a minute since I last shared anything with you (about 7 weeks to be precise). What can I say, except that life happens. It's been a busy time. A time to reflect, a time to learn new things and a time to consolidate and come back stronger. Whilst I was doing all that I came across a quote which captured exactly what was going on for me. It's simple, but like many simple things, it's not the easiest thing to do. It says "accept what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be"

Firstly, what does it mean to "accept what is..."? There have been a few times in my life when I have needed to do exactly that and I have resisted with every fibre of my being. Why? Because in my mind, to accept what is, is to be okay with the situation and I was very far from being okay with any of those situations. What I've since come to understand is that you cannot change anything you
don't take responsibility for. And taking responsibility involves acceptance of the current reality of the situation. Not as it was, not as you'd like it to be and not what it might be in the future. Only when we do that, do we have any hope of changing our circumstances. And if it's change we're after, then that it is in no way being okay with the situation.

Secondly, "let go of what was.."  In my wardrobe I have 2 sets of clothes. One from when I was smaller and the ones I can wear now.  The only thing that the smaller clothes do is remind me of when I was in fact smaller and depress me because I can't fit into them any more. If I were to talk to other women, I'm pretty certain that I would find that I am not the only one who does this. Whatever our reason for keeping these clothes- and we have many, they represent only one thing; the past. Even if I did get back to that size again, chances are that I still wouldn't wear those clothes. Either because they are dated or because I'd be euphoric over my weight loss and be out shopping for a whole new wardrobe! My point? Let go of the past, because it's not that perfect thing that you keep remembering and it's never going to be that exact thing that you remember nostalgically now. You're different, circumstances are different and the 'past' will be different too. It's a bit like eating something as an adult that you loved as a child and thinking "yuck, this is actually quite nasty!"

Finally, "have faith in what will be". I don't know how you feel about that statement, but when I read it, I feel so hopeful. Like I have a clean slate, on which to write whatever fresh start I need.  It's the place where you believe that you can do things differently and be different. That place where you can be the best version of yourself. It's also a bit of a scary place though, because you don't know what it holds or what it will look like. And because it's so scary, it can feel safer to hold onto the past. The thing is though, if you stay stuck in the past, you will shortchange yourself. You will never know how truly amazing you are and what excellence you are capable of achieving. That my friend, is like having a top of the range BMW and only ever driving it at 20mph. Kind of defeats the object of having it I would think.

So that's me done, now I have a few questions for you. What do you need to accept, so that you begin the process of changing? What do you need to let go of, so you can get unstuck? What step of faith do you have to take to discover how amazing you are? 

I'd love to continue our conversation, so drop me a line in the comments box. If you'd like some help answering these questions then you can contact me on +234 706 335 0864 or through the website.

Until next time, go well.