Dare to Dream: Four Ways to Live a Life on Your Own Terms
How did you feel when you woke up this morning? Did you throw back your covers and spring into the news day, or did you hit the snooze button for the fifth time, finally dragging your carcass out of your pit one foot at a time, that sinking feeling rearing it ugly head again? I wish the former for you, but I also know the latter only too well; that feeling that you’re going through life on automatic pilot, getting up, going to work in a job that you kinda hate, doing the same boring shit each day, working way too hard, only to endure the misery of the commute home. All of that, and you get to do the same monotonous shit the next day, leaving you literally counting down the days ‘til the weekend.
Pretty crappy right? So, what to do about it? Maybe you have an idea of how you want to make changes in your life. The germ of an idea that lurks in the back of your mind, prodding you and poking you to do something about it. Like an itch can’t quite be scratched, it’s that feeling that this thing could be the thing to change your world in all kind of beautiful ways; the path to the Happy Place, where everything in your life is sorted and full of nothing but good things and positive vibes, right? Yeah right, but like that’s ever going to happen, best just put up and shut up.
When I first started thinking about making a change in my life a few years back I started from that place of ‘yeah right’; that place of dreaming, but never quite getting ‘round to do anything about it. However, what I found is the more that I ignored it, the more discontented, unhappy and unmotivated I became.
When I did give serious though to changing careers, re-training and completely turning my life upside down in so many other ways; I, like many other people do, froze in fear. What the hell was I doing even thinking about giving up a well-paid career? What if people thought I was nuts wanting to become a life coach, of all things? What if things didn’t work out? I was bound to end up penniless, hopeless, broke and lonely, right? Right? And anyway, where the hell would I even start?
Like I said though, this niggle just was not going away, no matter how much white wine I tried to soothe it with. My head swum with it all; what would happen if I didn’t make some changes? How I would be letting myself down if I didn’t do something else? What is the was a gift? What did I want to be thinking when I was 70 years old, aside from ‘Well done, babe, you rocked that.’
So, I had to get a full on backscratcher out on this thing, and I did this with the help of a coach and my training as a coach. I was able to start thinking about the life that I wanted; the Golden Goose, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, Bully’s Special Prize…
In coaching terms we call this effective goal setting. It’s the starting point for creating the life you want to live. It’s the opportunity to dream, to visualise and to really set out for yourself how you want your life to be, with the view of working towards getting that sweet slice of the cherry pie.
There’s a kind of secret special sauce involved in super-effective goal setting, which means that goals must have the 4 P’s of being Positive, Personal, Present and Possible.
So, let’s get started on that right now…
Positively state your goals
It can be much easier to think about the things that we don’t want in life, or the things we want to get away from. Do you daydream about the day you can walk into your boss’s office and throw that notice letter theatrically in their face? Yep, we’ve all been there, but in order make a change that works for you, you need to propel yourself forward to a time when you’ve got what you want.
Positively stated goals will give your subconscious, and the universe something to start working towards. As humans we seek to progress, to move forward, so our subconscious will always be seeking for ways to do the things you set for it.
Conversely, it is said that the human brain doesn’t compute negatives, so if you feed it instructions to not do something, it will remove the negative and focus on what else you’ve told it to.
If your goal is: ‘I really want to quit my job.’ What your brain sees / hears is; ‘I really want my job’. If, on the other hand, you start shaping out a new job or career around the lifestyle and the things that you do want, your subconscious can start finding ways of working ways to get it.
For example, staying on that work tip, it could be something like…
‘The job I am next going to get will give me financial independence, meet my needs, allow me freedom to express my creativity and provide me with focus and fulfilment.’
Or, if you were trying to give up smoking…
‘I am able to breathe in fresh air, have wonderfully clean teeth, and am able to exercise freely with endless energy.’
Keeping it personal
OK, so while we may have an influence in other people’s lives, and what happens in them, we can only be responsible for our own. As much as it would be great sometimes to have that kind of Jedi force to be able to change how other people behave and act, we just don’t.
To create the life that you want, you have to concentrate your thoughts and energy on you and what you want to achieve, not what you think other people want, but what you want. So, when you’re thinking about your goals, think about them from a place of you-centred. You may struggle with this at first, especially if you are one of those people who always thinks of others first, or has kids who rely on you. However, I call this ‘putting on the oxygen mask’. If you cannot be present, happy and fulfilled and living a life that you want for the good of yourself and those closest to you, then you ain’t gonna be happy, and then guess what? Neither will they. Fact.
The world of possibilities
You may be wishing for a life where you travel the world only ever turning left on the aeroplane. You may be wishing to win the lottery. You may want to be the next Mrs Bradley Cooper. Hey, don’t we all? But let’s keep one foot in reality for now, because I want this shit to really work for you.
Your best life visioning can still involve big dreams, but try and keep one foot based in reality. If you set yourself up for the unachievable, then you’re heading on a one way ticket to Disappoint City, which is a long old journey, and one you only ever get to endure in the cheap seats.
I do want you to push yourself though otherwise you’ll get bored pretty damn quickly. So if your best life involves some big dreams, wishes and aspirations, think about how you can break them down into deliciously more-ish bite-sized chunks that you can enjoy devouring on your way to your happy place. Yum!
Your best life in present tense
Without deadlines our thoughts and focus shifts, bends, and ultimately doesn’t go anywhere. How often have you started working on something with all good intentions – it’s starts with a little half-guided momentum only for it to kind of fizzle out and then get stuck up there in your head with all the other wishes, daydreams and ‘one day I’lls?’. Doesn’t do much for the motivation does it?
It doesn’t matter if your best life is a one year, two year or five year plan; writing down goals in the present tense, dated as if they have already been achieved sets super-sharp focus and intention towards achieving them. Even better, if you keep reading your goals each evening before you go to bed, your subconscious will start finding ways of making these things happen whilst you sleep. Now, that’s what I call a win win.
Making a start with creating these powerful goals around what you want your life to become, what you want to do within it, and what you want to have within it, is the perfect starting point for your best and beautiful existence. It helps you to project forward, to really think about the things that you want, and sets intention to yourself and the world that you mean business.
So, as an overall reminder for starting to design your best life on the right footing; ensure that what you are setting out for yourself is all about the Ps:
POSITIVE, PERSONAL, POSSIBLE AND PRESENT.
So, wanna know what I set out for myself those few years ago? Here’s a little taste of the kind of things that I had in my best life designs, as well as a little sneak peak of how things are now. I’m not showing you this to make you feel nauseous, with ‘Well, hasn’t she just got it all.’ Life is always work in progress; there are other things which I haven’t quite been able to achieve yet, compromises have to be negotiated, and things do change as you go on your journey, but it’s all about flexibility. That, I will save for another day…
To live by the sea with my partner, with a beautiful home full of laughter and love.
To have a dog called Bertie (I kid you not!) who I get to enjoy walks with every day.
To be in the lives of all of my favourite people, sharing and being part of their worlds.
To have fun, be silly, dance, play and laugh ‘til my belly hurts, as much as possible.
To have my own coaching business working with wonderfully creative people, helping to make a positive change in their lives; learning from and sharing their celebrations with them.
To develop and collaborate my business with like-minded people who are on this path where we can all benefit from each other around a positive energy for change.
To continue my own personal development, to learn and to grow emotionally, spiritually and within my capabilities and skills.