Get in the Driver’s Seat

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Do you ever feel stuck certain areas of your life? Or maybe everything is going well on all fronts except for that one thing that you just can’t seem to get right. Do you wonder why you are stuck when it does not seem to make sense?

You’re not alone. Nobody has got it 100 % together. That doesn’t mean that you can’t try though.

I have talked about goal setting before in How to make decisions and how making good decisions can improve your wellbeing. Today I want to take you a step further in understanding what makes the difference between people who achieve such goals and people who don’t.   

The importance of mindset

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.
— Henry Ford

The number one thing that prevents people achieving what they want in life is their own mindset.

If you truly believe that you can do something, you will have no issue doing it because you know you can.

Let’s take a basic, and very current, example. At the moment I am trying to improve my fitness level. One way I am working on this is by going for a run in the morning before work. For about a year I have only done interval training (walk/run/walk/run). That is my comfort zone. I can do that for about 45 minutes, I’ll break a gentle sweat and pat myself on the back for having exercised.

But I am not pushing myself anymore.    

So I decided to set myself the target to run a 5K under 30 minutes. I have never done this. I have run three 5k races over the last few years and was always above 30 minutes and I had to walk a couple of times half way through to catch my breath or wait for a stitch to pass.

As a result I do not believe that I can run a 5K under 30 minutes because I haven’t done it.  

To try and overcome this I have been using the C25K app which takes you gently from interval running to distance running. But guess what? I was doing fine as long as I had a break at some point during the run. I am currently able to do 2 x 10 minutes with a 1 minute walk in the middle and I am fine. But my head keeps telling me that I cannot do the next step: 22 minutes without a break.

The next step for me is to break the mental barrier I have that is preventing me from running 22 minutes straight.

But now that I am aware of the issue, I know what I have to do. Break through the mental barrier and do it. The reason I know I can do this is because, even though I may not have run 22 minutes straight before, I have pushed myself outside of my comfort zone successfully in other areas of my life.

I have moved to countries I didn’t speak the language of. I have got several university degrees. I left a relationship I was comfortable in but no longer happy in.  

And so I know that when I am ready, I will run 22 minutes straight because compared to the above, it is nothing.

Take action now

So whatever it is that you are struggling with right now, start by making the list of your own personal achievements. Does the task at hand still seem unachievable in comparison? Leave a comment below and let us know what it is that you are struggling with.

Stop blaming others for your problems and take responsibility for your life

The only person who is truly holding you back is you. No more excuses. It’s time to change. It’s time to live life at a new level.
— Tony Robbins

Another common pitfall is to blame others for what has gone wrong in your life. And it is easily done.

Again taking a personal and current example: I am not where I want to be financially. When I look around me at people with my skill set and experience they all seem to earn a lot more than me.

So the first question that came to my mind was why? And a long list of reasons external to myself came up: it’s because I re-qualified during the credit crunch and had to accept low paid jobs, it’s because I moved countries and had to learn other languages, it’s because my ex told me to do this and that, it’s because bla bla bla…

If I am honest the real reason I am where I am today is because I made a number of decisions that bought me here. My current life is the result of the decisions I have made over the years. If I want to change things, I need to make new decisions.

Take action now

What have you been telling yourself are the reasons you are not where you want to be in your life? Take a hard look at it. What was your part in all of this? What can you do now to change this situation? Leave a comment a below if you are ready to share this with us.

The importance of your network

Your network is your net worth
— Tim Sanders

No matter how motivated you are, it’s hard to keep going sometimes. Especially when people around you might not understand what you are trying to achieve and have their own limiting beliefs that will, after a while, slow you down.

It is important to surround yourself with people who are on the same page as you, who have similar goals and are more or less on the same journey as you.

I am not telling you to stop seeing your negative friends but simply to become more aware of the people around you. Are they supportive or your goals or do they constantly bring you down? They might not be aware of their influence. They might not even be aware they are bringing you down.

My team at work is made up of lovely people with very good hearts. But they tend to see their glasses half empty. As much as I like them if I am not feeling great I try to keep to myself. Instead I will seek the company of the people I have met through the various personal development courses I have attended over the years.

These people will bring me up, whatever the situation. And more importantly they will encourage me when I feel like giving up. I make sure that I am in touch with them regularly and catch-up at events. One of them has even become one of my closest friends and we have regular catch-ups just to talk about our progress.  

Using another simple example, again linked to my health and fitness goal. A few weeks ago I was looking for a new lodger. I spoke to and interviewed quite a few people and I chose someone who has similar goals. My new lodger values his health, he plays hockey several times a week and when he doesn’t he works out. He also cooks his own food to ensure that what he eats is healthy.

This is perfect for me as having someone in the house in this frame of mine helps me to stay focus on my own health goals.  If I had someone in the house who is drinking wine every day I would be quite tempted to do the same which would ruin all of the good work I have been putting in for months.

Take action now

Take a look at your network. Who is supporting you? Who isn’t? What can you do about it? Let us know what changes you are going to make.

Get the support you need

Sometimes even when you have the right network you need an extra push to get you to wherever you want to be. This is where mentors and coaches come in.

I am a highly self-motivated individual and I am not afraid of working hard to achieve the results I want. But even I sometime need someone to push me further out of my comfort zone to help me grow.

The most basic example of this is personal trainers. If you want to achieve certain fitness results a personal trainer will take you there. You will have sessions booked in the diary and your coach will encourage you to do the extra push-up that you did not think you still had in yourself. Without the personal trainer breathing down your neck you would probably have given up a few push-ups earlier. It is human nature.  

Whatever the nature of your goal there is someone out there who had already done it or whose job it is to help you get there.

As mentioned before I always have one goal for wealth, health and relationships. And I have coaches / mentors helping me along the way in each area.

Take action now

Who are you going to ask for support? Where are you going to look to find a suitable mentor / coach? Let us know how you get on below. We love to hear your success stories!  

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Intellectual Property lawyer by day, blogger and life coach by night. Having suffered from depression on and off over 20 years, Emilie has done extensive research on the subject and worked out a system to manage depression without medication through having a healthy lifestyle. She shares her experience and tips on her blog