It was the beginning of 2018 and I was a hot mess in my business and financial life. I embarked on a journey of personal development, and just over a year later, I feel like a new person!
Warning: this is a long post, but I wanted to share all the tools I've used (and continue to use) to quiet the voice of fear and self-doubt in my mind, to gain courage and faith, and to step out and reach for the life of my dreams.
Every single one of us is worthy and capable of living a life that we love. My hope is that these ideas will help you, too.
I use the Calm app, but I've also heard great things about Headspace. I often do the daily 10-minute guided meditation, but sometimes I'll just sit listening to the rain sound. We need to give ourselves time to sit in silence and focus on our breath. The more we do that, the more we can NOTICE what we are thinking and realize that we can let our thoughts pass; we don't have to get swept away by them. You will suck at meditating at first!! Your mind will not shut down, and that's normal and okay!! But just like you do bicep curls, you can train yourself to be in charge of your mind, not the other way around.That's why it's called a practice. Even 10 minutes a day was a game-changer for me...you deserve to give yourself 10 minutes a day, don't you?!
I know these seem corny, but damn do they work! I have re-wired my brain in many areas with affirmations. Pick an area of your life that you want to change - how do you want to be? Write an affirmation that starts with "I am" and is positive and in the present tense (NOT "I will.."), as if you already are that person. Include emotional words with them...imagine how you will FEEL when you are that person. Here are just a few of the ones I've used..."I am so proud of myself now that I am a punctual person." "I am so grateful that I do what I love every day." "I am worthy and deserving of complete fulfillment." If that seems too much of a stretch for you, start with "I am willing to..." or "I am committed to..." Say these to yourself over and over every single day...looking at yourself in the mirror is even better. It's crazy...if you tell yourself a lie enough times, you start to believe it, and then you start to act differently. Try it!
3.) Create a vision statement!
Write out in detail what your ideal life looks like in all areas of your life - health, wealth, relationships, vocation. In your perfect world, if money and time were not an issue, how would you spend your days? What kind of house would you live in? What kind of people would you be surrounded by? What would your body look like and what kind of clothes would you wear? Write all of this out in present tense, as if you were already living it. For example, "I am so happy and grateful now that I..."
Read this statement when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night, and feel the feelings you would feel if/when you are living this life. This is a simple exercise, but it is hard!! It's tough to imagine living a way that might be very different than how you live now, but when we "think from the end" and start to really see ourselves living our dream, we attract the ideas and the people and the opportunities that we need to move us in that direction.
There is too much to cover on vision statements here, so please google why these work! Update your vision statement regularly as you think of more juicy details that get you excited about the life you're working toward.
I use this app to record my affirmations and my vision statement and play them over and over while I'm in the shower, driving, drifting off to sleep, etc. We have to flood our subconscious mind with these images and feelings so we start to see the possibilities, and this is a great way to do it.
4.) Get a Coach/Mentor/Therapist!
Coaches and mentors and therapists help us see things that we can't see ourselves, and they expose us to ideas and strategies that we've never heard before. Too often, we just ask our friends and family for advice, which is great if they are crushing it in that area of their life, but if not, it's like the blind leading the blind.
I am a student in Bob Proctor's year-long coaching program. I invested a large chunk of money into it, money that I didn't really have, but I am beyond glad that I did. I feel like a new person, and I KNOW that I am on the right path to achieving my goals.
Check out some of Bob's videos on YouTube and see if he resonates with you. If he does, he is doing a seminar called Paradigm Shift January 24th - 26th, 2020. I had so many a-ha moments when I watched this last year - I learned that change has to happen from the inside out, not the outside in like we have all been taught. I learned how to start to change my mind so I could change my life.
You can purchase a ticket to livestream it here:
Bob's teachings have absolutely laid the foundation for all my progress. Without a good foundation, you'll be spinning your wheels. Because of what I learned from him, I finally understood WHY I hadn't been able to make myself take consistent action in life. My life is moving in the right direction now.
If Bob's teaching doesn't strike a chord with you, some other teachers that I love are: Mary Morrissey, Jack Canfield, and Vishen Lakhiani (Mindvalley).
Every night before I go to sleep, I think of 10 things that I am grateful for that day. It can be something big like my family's good health or something small like the delicious cup of coffee I had that morning. You can write them in a journal, make a gratitude jar, whatever. Really, I am grateful all the time, but it's a nice way to end the day. When we are grateful for what we have, we have a better outlook on life, and we will find even more to be grateful for.
Another tool that's high on the corny-but-effective meter - before I go to bed at night, I used to look myself in the eye in the mirror and acknowledge myself for all the good things I had done that day, no matter how small. I would tell myself how proud I was of myself. And if there is something that I wished had gone differently during the day, guess what - I closed my eyes and imagined it the way I wished it had done down. Imagination is everything! This will totally help with the negative self-talk!
It's all about your vibe. It's all about feeling the best you can feel in the moment, because when you feel better about yourself, you'll be more motivated to take positive action. I made a playlist to listen to for those times I'm feeling down or nervous and/or I want to pump myself up. I titled my playlist "Badass" and it includes songs like "Invincible" by Kelly Clarkson, "Glorious" by Macklemore, and "This Is Me" by Keala Settle.
We are so freaking fortunate to live in a time where we have access to all these amazing ideas, right at the touch of a button. I love these podcasts that inspire and educate me: Oprah's SuperSoul Conversations, Lewis Howes' School of Greatness, Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu, Kwik Brain with Jim Kwik, The Tony Robbins Podcast, The Mindvalley Podcast, and The One Thing.
9.) Social Media!
The beautiful thing about social media is that we can curate it to be a source of positivity and inspiration for us. There are many pages that I follow, but some of the big ones that I love are: Mel Robbins, Gary Vee, Lewis Howes, Proctor Gallagher Institute, Mary Morrissey, Devan Kline, Joe Dispenza, Emily McDowell, Lisa Nichols, Aaron Doughty.
Before I list the books I've read, I cannot stress repetition enough! It took us decades to form these unproductive habits, negative thoughts, and toxic stories. How can we expect to make a change if we dabble here and there? With technology and the amount of amazing content out there, it is SO easy to flood our minds with good things. Listen to audio books and webinars and podcasts every where you go - driving in your car, folding laundry, working out. Repetition is the mother of all learning!
Whether it's reading them or listening to them in my Audible app, I cannot get enough books! The more we understand about ourselves, the better! Here are the ones that I've read that have helped me shed my limiting thinking, develop faith and courage, and create productive habits. They are very loosely listed in order of recommendation.
- "You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero
- "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay
- "Ask and It Is Given" by Esther Hicks
- "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield
- "The One Thing" by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan
- "Psycho-Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz
- "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz
- "Loving What Is" by Byron Katie
- "The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod
- "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind" by T. Harv Eker
- "Working With the Law" by Raymond Holliwell
- "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy
- "A Return to Love" by Marianne Williamson
- "Mindset" by Carol Dweck
- "Unfu*k Yourself" by Gary John Bishop
- "Stop Doing that Sh!t" by Gary John Bishop
- "The Science of Getting Rich" by Wallace Wattles
- "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" by Susan Jeffers
- "Awaken the Giant Within" by Tony Robbins
- "The Power of Intention" by Wayne Dyer
- "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne (also a movie)
- "Conversations with God Part 1" by Neale Donald Walsch
- "Playing the Matrix" by Mike Dooley
- "Millionaire Success Habits" by Dean Graziosi
- "Kick Ass with Mel Robbins" by Mel Robbins
- "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F@ck" by Mark Manson
- "The 5-Second Rule" by Mel Robbins
- "You Were Born Rich" by Bob Proctor
- "Do the Work" by Steven Pressfield
- "Eat That Frog!" by Brian Tracy
- "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins
- "Atomic Habits" by James Clear
- "10% Happier" by Dan Harris
- "Present Over Perfect" by Shauna Niequist
- "The Greatest Salesman in the World Parts 1 & 2" by Og Mandino
- "The Difference Maker" by John C. Maxwell
- "Everything's F@cked" by Mark Manson
- "The Top 10 Things Dead People Want You to Know" by Mike Dooley
- "See You at the Top" by Zig Ziglar
- "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki
- "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle
- "Crushing It" by Gary Vaynerchuk
- "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl
- "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen
- "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer
- "The Celestine Prophecy" by James Redfield
- "You Are a Badass Every Day" by Jen Sincero
- "You Are a Badass at Making Money" by Jen Sincero
- "Your Invisible Power" by Genevieve Behrand
- "You Squared" by Price Pritchett
- "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill
- "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" by Deepak Chopra
- "The Power of Awareness" by Neville Goddard
- "Feeling is the Secret" by Neville Goddard
- "The Wealth Mindset" by Neville Goddard
- "Who Says You Can't? You Do" by Daniel Chidiac
- "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie
- "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert
- "The Book of Mistakes" by Skip Prichard
- "The Magic of Thinking Big" by David Schwartz
- "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis