It has been so wonderful this week seeing so many students receiving great A level results and achieving their dreams of going to university. Congratulations to them all.
Last Saturday Rob and I were lucky enough to go and see Derren Brown on his current UK tour. I have always been a fan of Derren Brown and have seen several of his stage shows. If you are not too familiar with him, he is a ‘mentalist’, someone who is able to use misdirection and mind programming to get people to see and do whatever he wants them to do. If you ever get to watch his show ENGIMA, I would highly recommend it.
One of the things that his show absolutely reinforces for me is the power of the human mind. Our minds really are unlimited. Science suggests that we use a tiny percentage of what our brains are capable of doing. Imagine what we could achieve if we really pushed ourselves?
I am fascinated by the connection between our mind and our body. When I was MUCH younger I can remember rare occasions when I REALLY didn’t want to go to school. I would go to bed thinking about it and wishing that I could develop a cold overnight or feel unwell. Sure enough, I would wake up in the morning and I would feel just unwell enough that I couldn’t go to school. The mind is an amazing thing! It was also amazing how quickly I could convince myself that I had recovered enough to get out of bed and lie under a duvet on the sofa watching films all day!
It is literally incredible what you can convince yourself with the power of your mind.
I became a Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) a few years ago. It sounds very fancy, doesn’t it? Essentially NLP explores the connection between our minds, our body and the language we use. The famous American Coach Anthony Robbins is a big user of NLP in his programmes. What he says is that we can change our state i.e. how we are feeling by simply changing the language that we use and our physiology. And, it is TRUE!
This is great news because it means if we are not feeling our best, we can change it in an instant!
Take a moment, take a deep breath and think about something that makes you sad. Really picture it and think about how the situation makes you feel. The chances are that as you think about this scenario your body has made some changes too. Did you feel the smile go from your face or perhaps your shoulders started to droop? This is the power that our mind has on our body.
The great news is that the opposite is true too. If you were to think about a time where you were at your happiest and truly remember what you were doing and how you were feeling you will notice the opposite shift in your body. You are more likely to be smiling and perhaps you are standing just that little bit taller.
So, why is this helpful to know? It is helpful because it means we can choose to shift how we are feeling in any given moment simply by changing our thoughts.
Imagine you are going for an interview. If you have been sat waiting to be called in and in your head, you have been saying this…
“What if I can’t answer their questions?”
“What if I make a fool of myself?”
“Why did I even go for this job?”
“I feel nervous”
“I am not good enough”
How are you going to look walking in to that room? You probably won’t be standing tall and looking confident!
I was listening to a podcast yesterday by Oprah Winfrey (another one of my favourites). She was interviewing an American pastor called Joel Osteen. He said something in the podcast that really resonated with me. He said, “You are either talking yourself into your dreams or you are talking yourself out of them”. I love this.
How many times have you talked yourself out of something? I have done it myself.
When I first decided I wanted to work with women and support them in making life changes, I can remember sitting thinking about why anyone would want to listen to me. At times, it would have been easy to just give up and agree with the messages I was playing in my head. However, my goal to help other women is important to me and so I changed the messaging and focused on being positive and move towards my goal. Since then I have launched this blog, I have a Facebook community and I have become a columnist. These things haven’t happened because I have been telling myself all the reasons why I can’t achieve my dreams. They have happened because I make a conscious effort to talk myself ‘in to my dreams’.
People don’t always like it when I say this as the truth isn’t always easy to swallow but here goes…if you are not feeling how you want to feel and you are not achieving the things you want to achieve it will be down to the story you are telling yourself. The blessing is that we can tell ourselves a better story, change the language that we use, feel the difference in our bodies and walk towards our dreams.
Why not try it this week?
If you wake up in the morning and your inner voice kicks in to tell you that you have not had enough sleep, that you are tired and that your day will be tough just STOP. Take a breath, focus on how your body is feeling and then start telling yourself a more empowering message. Instead, say “I am refreshed, I am energised and I am ready to have an amazing day”. Say it a few times and start to feel the difference in your body.
Be the kind of woman who talks herself in to her dreams and not someone who talks themselves out of them.
You’ve got this.
Until next week
P.s The link to the Oprah Winfrey podcast is HERE if you want to learn more. It was Podcast 4. I thought it was great!