10 things that have created the biggest shifts in my life
Updated: Apr 3, 2019
I’ve done a lot of self-development over the years and applied them to my life with varying degrees of success.
Here, I’ve summarised the lessons/practices that have created the biggest lasting impact for me.
It all began here… Feeling pretty down on myself for not being able to focus for more than 30 second blocks (the absolute truth) I set out on a meditation practice to help me to focus better. After years of daily practice, it remains as one of the most profound transformations I have ever gifted myself.
Meditation has helped me to separate myself from my emotions and thoughts. The most important thing about this is I don’t always act on my emotions. I might feel down, I might feel pissed off, I might think that I’m a loser, but I now have the ability to let the emotions and thoughts just be there and pass by and I don’t let them hurt me, and I don't react from them.
2. NATURAL SUCCESS WORKSHOPS
Honest to god, William Whitecloud’s Natural Success workshops is the real deal. My life has transformed in ways I would never have believed possible, and it’s only just the beginning. Do yourself a favour and get to his workshops!
3. ATTENDING WORKSHOPS
Before doing self-development workshops, I was always seeking to learn more. I read a lot of self-development books and was momentarily inspired, but it never translated into actual change in my life. Doing an in-person workshop made all the difference, as I finally experienced how to put the theory into action, and the exercises created such an impression that I turned these into every day habits and actions.
Workshops = accelerated growth and results.
This was one is so bleedingly obvious yet is the single most crucial factor of my transformation. Nothing changes unless you act. You can think about what you want different in your life until the cows come home. It’s only when you start acting towards what you want changed, that change will come.
As someone who would practice the Law of Attraction and think about what I want. Visualise it. Feel it…still nothing. The difference came when I would imagine what I want, and then acted on it by beginning to do the next step, or the next action that is going to help me get there.
Also, who cares about whether you are taking the right action or not. You never know where your next action or creation will lead you.
5. GETTING A COACH
A coach is one thing I use to keep me on my path to being a powerful creator. It’s a structure I have and use. I also got the best coach my money can buy. This lifts me to play a much bigger game. My coach has stretched himself to be best at what he does, and he helps/expects me do the same. He sees things that I can't see in myself also, which has made all the difference.
There’s a reason all the most successful people in the world talk about mentors and coaches being key to their successes.
6. BECOMING AWARE OF THE VOICES IN MY HEAD
There’s a constant mental barrage of voices and stories going on in my head (and yours). There’s one that tells me I can do it - the Hero voice, and then the louder and more destructive one that tells me I can’t - the Pretender voice. I’ve learnt that my Pretender voice needs not paying attention to. Even when everything in my mind and body tells me that I can’t and shouldn’t. I’ve learned that these thoughts are just learned habits and behaviours and I have a choice to give my attention instead to the Hero voice.
It's about turning the volume up on the Hero voice, and shutting down the Pretender voice. This is an awareness and a practice. Something that I have learned to do with some re-focusing practices.
7. UNDERSTANDING THAT THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS AREN’T REAL
This one deserves an entire blog to really drive home the message, but I learnt this at William's workshops and it has changed everything.
As a child, you become wounded (it's inevitable), and then form strategies to avoid feeling that pain again. These strategies then becomes a habitual way of being and thinking.
The example I've used before is, imagine as a child your mother gives you disapproving looks when you say or do anything that may outshine your sibling. You then form a belief that you shouldn't outshine your sibling as your mother won't be happy with you. What happens is you unconsciously take this belief with you into your adult life, and dull your shine all the time, even though there's no disapproving mother around any longer.
Knowledge that all of my behaviours today was born of a false assumption as a baby has helped me to understand that my thoughts and feelings aren't a response to reality, they are deeply rooted patterns which were designed to avoid pain and have become my default mode.
8. NOTICING THE PATTERNS IN MY LIFE
One of the most obvious patterns in my life was in my relationships. The story I told myself was - I do everything for that person, and he never does anything for me. For that reason, my partners were never good enough for me, or so I told myself. After becoming aware of this pattern, what I noticed was I was willingly doing everything for that person (they never ask) and never accept help when it’s offered. Then proceed to get pissed off about having to do everything for them… Absolutely ridiculous when stated so obviously, yet it has taken a lot of self-awareness to notice how much I was responsible for creating this dynamic in my relationships.
When I finally notice the pattern, and feel myself getting pissed off at my partner (sorry Manny), I can take responsibility for my part in it. Mostly it has nothing to do with him at all and I have to suck it up.
Another pattern of mine - constantly undervaluing myself in the workplace. Never asking for more pay and underestimating my capability. Or, not speaking up in meetings.
The awareness of the pattern might not seem like much. It’s still there, playing out and trying to compel me to act, but with practice, when you notice the pattern as it arises, you will learn to see it as just that. A pattern. It makes it feel less personal. It’s not really me, it’s just a habit that will try to take my attention. Simply notice it. No need to give it my energy and act on it.
9. USING THE POWER OF HABIT TO CREATE MOMENTUM
Years ago, I was down and out. Spending habits were out of control. Drinking more than I could handle. Doing drugs. Failing uni. I was a culmination of a lot of bad habits. I was doing bare minimum responsibility just to get by in life.
In an attempt to introduce some good habits into my life though, I started a training regime. I got a personal trainer for the accountability and chose to train in the morning so I wouldn't be tempted to cancel for other commitments. I draaaggged myself out of bed twice a week for it. Soon, though, I loved the results I was getting and it became a habit.
This then snowballed into quitting smoking, quitting drinking, quitting drugs, saving money, starting a meditation practice and even to this day, the momentum has continued into writing, building a business and more.
From that one decision to start going to the gym, my life turned around.
This phenomenon of one habit turning into multiple good habits is described as 'keystone habits' in Charles Duhigg's The Power of Habit. Plenty of articles out there summarising the points from the book if you're interested.
10. QUITTING ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
I was a pretty out of control, irresponsible person at one point in my young adult life. I know there are a lot of people who can be quite controlled about their recreational antics, but I was not that person.
I'd had enough one day and decided to take a year of sobriety. No more alcohol. No more recreational drug taking. In that year, I gained an unprecedented amount of time and energy in my life. With this extra energy, time and money I started to invest it into myself. It was a game changer.
One of the biggest things I gained from this was truly knowing who I was and what I wanted. This purely came down to having freedom of more time and energy and having to then find out how I wanted to spend it.
And so you have it. A summary of my biggest shifts to date, though, I'm certain there's many more huge shifts still to come!