It’s been a while! This has been my struggle.

Something amazing has happened to me recently! Truly amazing!

I have been presented with a clear path to success – it’s so obviously the right path – and I’m still stood looking at it and feeling like another path is the one I should take.

How bonkers it that???!!!

Mark and I have just been for dinner and I finally admitted my self doubt. Despite having all the tools I need to take this path to success, I am struggling to walk along it. The last few months have been almost unbelievable for me, my life is going to change massively and as much as I’m a sceptic regarding “the universe” and concepts such as “cosmic ordering”, I simply cannot deny the opportunities and momentum that is occurring in my life since I wrote down what I want. I realised I hadn’t told Mark any of this, and how it all linked, he convinced me I needed to write about this and share my “stuckness” in the face of the glaringly obvious path to choose.

Here is the story:

You’ll know from my previous blog posts that I read The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich in December and this had a massive impact on me. I decided to put something into practice:

  • I set goals
  • I learned to view work differently
  • I decided to learn and learn and learn

So I carried on this momentum and purchased a book called “Money: Know More, Make More, Give More by Rob Moore, whom I’d never heard of at this point but am now a total fan!. I felt sick as I read it, but for a great reason. I’d always been really proud of the values regarding money that I’d managed to instil in my son, Cam, mostly based on some major errors and hard earned learning myself. I realised reading this book, that I had set him on a fairly risky and thankless journey.

I wrote more goals based on the advice given in this book and worked on identifying my values. This has evolved over the couple of months and I now understand that I value security above all else. It’s vital to know what drives you but it can be quite hard to figure out.

I decided to follow the advice in both books and reach out to the people at the top. So I dropped Rob Moore a line, not expecting to hear anything back, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone and that was what I was aiming for. And you know what? I did hear back from Rob! Life has been pretty different since!

Reaching out like this led me to a massive new community and I was invited to attend some training. Which I did, and this has opened even more doors, physically and mentally and I have literally been soaking up all the learning I can as a result. I’ve been engaging in threads on Facebook and really getting a taste for path of success. I’ve already met lots of amazing and inspiring people and this has lead me to other learning and opportunities for Cam and I which I’m so excited about!

This opened me up to learning even more, and I’m hungry to know everything I can. But bizarrely, in my head, I’m stood at a crossroads looking down two different paths. The path on my right (in my head) is the path to success, I’m 110% sure of this, yet on my left, I feel a tug towards the path I know well.

This situation has practically paralysed me this last week. But I did recognise this in myself and instead of just stopping, as I previously would have, I kept soaking up the learning based on good advice, and this has gotten me to the point that I can verbally articulate my internal struggle to Mark. Mark pointed out the glaringly obvious to me (which I was unaware of):

  • I’m a qualified and experienced NLP practitioner – I understand people
  • I’m a qualified and experienced coach and I get great results when I do coach people
  • I’m real – I have a really rubbish filter and my thoughts just fall out (apparently this is good)
  • I just want to help people feel better about themselves and for themselves
  • my internal struggles are things other people will feel too
  • everyone gets stuck
  • most people give up at this point and stick to what they know
  • I have all the knowledge and tools I need and just need to take action

Bizarrely this resonated very loudly as yesterday I’d listened to a Progressive Property Podcast which talked about strengths and challenges and overcoming them.

So after a very frank discussion with mostly Mark talking (those of you who know us will know how unusual that is), I promised to take action.

  • I walked through the door and contacted a young entrepreneur who I’d been talking to about social media and told him to “go, go, go” with developing the reach for my blog page.
  • I typed this blog post and have set a goal to keep going, I’ve had great feedback so far and now I just need to be brave and let people I don’t know read my work.
  • I’m going to share this blog to a wider audience – eek
  • Tomorrow I am going to be setting up my property investment website
  • I am also going to package my first deal and present it to a friend who is an investor and get really valuable feedback from him at the very least, and who knows, maybe even a deal that will benefit us both
  • I’m going to stand up at two networking events this month and introduce myself, build my network and relationships for my business
  • I’m going to go on a course in two weeks time and ensure that I am taking actions based on my new learning straight away
  • I’m going to teach Cam what I learn, and drag him along to the courses I go on where I can, to teach him the right way to do things

I’m sharing this on my blog to keep me accountable – make sure you check up on me by sending me a message – I need a good shove down the path of success!

I thought I was stuck, I just needed to say it to the right person to know I need to constantly work on sorting my shit out. I felt a bit ashamed of my stuckness because even to me, the choice is obvious.

The mind is powerful, and part of being successful is not suppressing these thoughts, but acknowledging them and finding the right way to balance them.

Most people fear failure, my fear is of success, which sounds crazy, especially when you are so sure of how to achieve success. This recent journey has made me realise that I value security above anything else and although there is little risk in taking this path and much to gain, it’s different to what I know and that makes me insecure and therefore affects my deepest value. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle isn’t it. And this is why it’s so important that I have become part of such a large and supportive community and shared this experience and learning with Mark.

I’m choosing the path to success! As of now! And I’m going to struggle a bit with this. But being surrounded by people, virtually and in real life who can reassure me is so important. I’ve realised that I’ve often been given the tools to be successful in the past but I have never followed through with consistent action. Well that changes now!

If you’d like to get inspired head to these websites:

http://www.robmoore.com

http://www.unlimited-success.co.uk

http://www.progressiveproperty.co.uk

Exercise changed my mind!

I’ve always done some sort of exercise, but never really taken anything particularly seriously.  I struggled with finding motivation and commitment and then would feel bad as I watched the pounds pile on.  This created a negative cycle in my mind and had an impact on my body too.

A few years ago, I was chatting with my brother in law and he was telling me about this new gym he’d found.  Their family live several miles away so I had a look to see if there was anything similar near me.  There was, and there was a free trial session so I duly went along to Crossfit Southampton in Eastleigh.

O….M…..G!!!!!!! When I got there, I was very scared.  It was a massive, noisy warehouse, no machines, just a load of ropes, metal climbing frames, a few big balls and barbells dropping all around.  I nearly turned and walked out but I was greeted by a cheerful lady around my own age who I later found out was one of the owners.  So I stayed, I did the workout, which was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and from that point on, was totally hooked.

I signed up for the membership the very next day and virtually lived there for two years, going almost everyday.

I was literally the worst at everything, except skipping and sit ups, but something about it kept me going back.  I worked enormously hard, inspired by the women around me who were the strongest I have ever seen.  Everyone cheers you on and even being last is an achievement, by the fact you didn’t give up.  People in Crossfit gyms really respect effort!  And, so began my obsession.

I remember my first deadlifting attempt.  I managed a very small weight, under half my body weight.  Two years later I lifted 1.5 times my bodyweight.  I went from barely being able to hold on to a pull up bar for five seconds, to being able to do two strict pull ups.

I met an amazing group of friends there and my amazing other half.

After two years, my obsession turned into curiosity about the mechanics of our bodies and the beauty of form, and I started to realise that lifting heavy wasn’t my goal anymore, movement was, so Mark and I made what felt like a heart wrenching decision, we switched entirely to Calisthenics – more on that in another post.

This journey with sport, has had much more of an impact on me than simply dropping dress sizes.  It has informed the way we eat, the approach we take to sleep and improved my overall mental health.

Crossfit taught me lessons – it humbled me every day, yet I got up to do it all over again the next day.  Because simply getting through one of those workouts is a physical and mental achievement.  The buzz that gives you is amazing.

It introduced me to so many people, when you suffer together you bond.  I remember rolling around on the floor fighting the urge to give up, next to one of my now closest friends and yelling at her to keep moving!

It taught me that I have strengths, and others have different ones.  I was often humbled by people complimenting my squat or my sit up prowess, or my ability to double under skip, all of these people were people whom I saw as “elite” but realised they, like me, have weaknesses too.

It gave me the realisation that I can endure practically anything!  Sometimes the fight to finish was not with my body but with my head.  There is a short workout called Fran, it consists of two movements, barbell thrusters and pull ups, this, like all workouts are scaled to your ability, it takes around 5 minutes to complete, but every single person hates it.  You just want it to stop right from the first round.  To be fair, most workouts did this to me.  But again, that feeling afterwards is such a reward.

It gave me confidence, which I was severely lacking, and days when my self esteem was low, I’d go and lift some heavy weights and that somehow made me strong in my head again.

It inspired me to learn more, to challenge myself, to push harder, to achieve more and frankly made me feel quite invinsible at a time in my life when I was sliding down.

Callisthenics provides this for me now, handstands are my current main project.  A few years ago,  I would have given up after a while, Crossfit taught me to never stop trying, and slowly, my handstand is improving.

I am stronger now, at forty, than I have ever been in my life.  My posture is better, which enhances my breathing which helps in everything.  I can endure a lot more mentally and push myself hard.

I still need motivating and to help with this, I always workout with Mark, and we have had a personal coach in both Crossfit previously and now Calisthenics.  I moan a lot but we laugh a lot, usually at me, but I’m good with that.  Crossfit also taught me to laugh at myself.  There are several memories I have of  our group going home with sore abs, not form the workout, but from laughing.

I progress slowly, but I progress. When I think back to when I first started Crossfit, or even when we made the switch to Calisthenics less than a year ago, the improvements are enormous.

It’s easy to forget how far we have come in any part of our lives, but I often get frustrated at my lack of progress.  In our whats app friend group, we often flip from being annoyed by our gym performance to reminding each other just how much improved we all are.  I’m not one for looking back on the past, but I know it is important to do this.  To remember how we have changed and celebrate this.

Time tends to blur all things, experiences, memories, feelings, but it is important to see back through the blur to the reality at the time.

Being committed to exercising, is being committed to yourself.  I see it as an investment in my future.  I want to be agile and pain free as I age, I want to be fit and able to move freely at 100 (lets face it, we all might live this long now).  But I want the peace and pride that it gives me in my head the most, the foundation to be healthy.

 

 

 

My unknowing friend – Chester Bennington

https://goo.gl/images/viScwe

This is a bit off piste, but I’ve wanted to acknowledge Chester Bennington’s impact on my life. I never met him, I never even saw him live in any of the groups he fronted, yet he was ever present in my life, and saved me many times from feeling so alone, and confused.

……..

I’ve always loved music! And my tastes are wide and varied. One group that, for me, changed everything, in music, and in me, is Linkin Park, my first introduction to the raspy, and undescribably emotional voice of Chester Bennington.

Linkin Park, are true musical pioneers, the likes of which I have not seen again in my lifetime (yet). They are the musical game changers of my generation and all so talented.

Their style has, at many times in my life, reflected what’s in my head: angry and loud, yet beautifully melodic and serene at the same time. A true juxtaposition (previously a “word of the week” for a friend and I, more about that in another post 😉).

There have been times, when this group’s work have saved me! Times when I have felt alone and down and confused. “Crawling” for example, describes an aching to feel better but struggling to do so. It made me feel like someone understood me, I was not alone, and this made my problems feel shared, and you know that old saying “a problem shared, is a problem halved”. So many of their songs carry this theme.

The battle in the songs and the unmistakable voice of Chester Bennington literally spoke to me. It was my comfort, my realisation that other people have things like I had going on in their heads and in their lives.

The pain was always apparent in the songs, even as their style evolved, lightening, darkening, reinventing over the long career they are enjoying and Chester’s vocals really touched my soul, they chilled me and warmed me at the same time. No other vocalist has had this effect on me.

When “Heavy” was released, it reminded me of how it felt when I needed to let go, it reminded me of how far I’ve come in my life, and how much better my head is now. Mostly down to the company I now keep, but I remember the isolation and my inability to let what was sitting like rocks in my heart go, when others seemed to be able to do it so easily.

I have never mourned celebrities who have passed. I never understood how people could feel so upset about people they didn’t know. But when news broke about Chester Bennington taking his own life, it hit me like a train. I didn’t cry, but I felt a massive kick to my stomach, it took days for me to believe it and every time I hear him, not just Linkin Park, but Dead by Sunrise and Stone Temple Pilots, that unique, raspy, amazing voice which articulated such raw and passionate emotion, I feel a deep pang of sadness. His voice, and the words he wrote, co wrote and sang, pulled me up out of my darkest times, he was unknowingly a friend in my life, the one who seemed to be able to genuinely say “I know how you feel, I’ve felt it too”.

His music will always be here, and Linkin Park will evolve, they have such talent. But my sadness is that Chester couldn’t find the solace that he gave me. When I hear “Heavy” now, I hear more pain, more confusion and more desperation than ever.

So, to Chester! For saving me over and over again. Rest in the true peace you struggled to find here.

3 days til the big 40!

I’ll be honest, I’ve been dreading this week.  It’s my last week in my thirties and being forty just hasn’t been something I’ve been looking forward to.

I wanted this birthday to just never happen.  But so far I’ve glided towards the big day, in three days time, will what feels like grace and dignity.  2018 has already been amazing and things are starting to change, or rather I’m starting to change, again.

I wonder if we ever really have our shit together, or it’s simply just something that we move towards, life changes, people change, we change.

At the end of 2017, I felt like it was the beginning of getting old.  I liked my job but did I really want to do it for much longer? Life was good but was this all there was til retirement in 27 years time?

I read a book, I’ve mentioned it before, called the Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris, and although the four hour work week is a distant dream for me right now, it really triggered me into thinking “what do I want out of life?”, “do I need to stay on this plodding path?” and most importantly, “what’s the worst that can happen?”.

Well, the last question turned out to be really motivating.  What’s the worst that can happen? Sure, if I took a leap of faith, and it went wrong, I could lose a lot, but would it kill me?  and would it be as bad as I imagine it could be? There’s a whole load of degrees of failure, and the worst case scenario relies on 100% failure.  This prompted me to realise how much control I feel I need to have, and it is a lot.  It challenged me to let a bit of that control go, and I have!  I have never 100% failed, because 100% failure means you don’t try again.  I’ve long believed that success is found through failure, or rather learning the way not to do things.  Every failure should teach you something.

So, I went for a job that was so far out of my comfort zone, it was exhilarating and petrifying when I got the call inviting me to the interview.  In my new head space, I sat outside the office, and promised myself I would not put my best foot forward, I would simply be myself.  Being authentic is something 2017 has taught me to be proud of, not to hide away from because people find me direct and too honest.  In fact, I think the first thing I said to interview panel was something like “I’m going to be brutally honest, I say it as I see it, I don’t believe in being diplomatic, I believe in getting to point and then working together to fix things, if that’s not what you’re after, then lets stop here”.  They were intrigued!  For the first time ever in my career, the interview ran over, not because I was talking, but because they were interested in me and my creative approach.  We talked and talked and talked and I left feeling like that was the best interview of my life.  More importantly though, I really liked the feeling I got from the individuals on the panel.  I felt they “got” me.

Good interview or not, there could always be someone better, although I told myself not to underestimate myself or over estimate others.  A few days later, I had the most wonderful feedback on the interview, the interview where I was not out to impress, just to simply be myself.  I was asked questions about things that had been on my mind like the massive change in fields, whether I was ready to leave a role that I love and this further assured me that they “got” me.  I was offered the job!

It was so hard resigning from my current role, leaving an amazing bunch of people but I’m super excited about this new adventure.  It’s not the four hour work week, but its interesting to do something new and this will give me a new lease of life whilst the main plan develops and evolves into being.

Another thing that has happened this year already, I was finally able to have refractive laser surgery.  I’ve been turned down so many times because of my prescription but now they have Relex Smile.  My vision went from -9.0 with astigmatism in both eyes, to -0.5 with no astigmatism within 24 hours.  What I cannot convey to anyone, is just how massive this change is.  Sure, I have had glasses and contacts before, but I have NEVER seen what I am seeing now.  The goal was never to not need glasses, just to get to a level where I could see my glasses would have made me happy! Amazingly, I no longer need glasses, which I have worn since I was 3 or 4. It’s emotional every time I look at something, I see it much clearer, and much sharper and I can see at least twice as far as I used to be able to with glasses.  This is truly miraculous to me.  I have a check up with my surgeon next week and three weeks later, I’ll have a full eye test with the optometrist.  The price did make the control freak in me worry, but my new approach to life meant I just went for it, and I’m so glad I did, I’d happily pay three or even four times as much, maybe more for what I have now.

I’ve also noticed that I care much less about things that used to bother me about my body.  This is a really big thing for me too, it’s given me a lot more space in my head and much less negative self talk that needs to be kept in check.  I simply accept my body as it is and that’s it.  It’s liberating!

So, I’ve still three days to go, but already forty is looking really appealing.  Being myself is good, and people like that. Being able to see is just miraculous, I hope I never lose the wonder I have, sight is a precious thing and good sight really should be appreciated.  And, if I care less about the niggly things about my body, I have more time to develop my dream life over the next few years.

Now, very excited to be forty!