Success Doesn’t Happen By Sitting on Your Arse


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In order to be successful in anything in life, you need to take action. That begins by deciding on what it is you want to be successful at and this is the biggest hurdle of all. Yet all it takes is a little time to sit down and think about what truly motivates you, what makes your heart sing, your stomach turn over with excitement, passion and desire. we all have something in our lives that has this incredible effect on our mind and body, even when we haven’t realised it yet.

Once you know what that thing is, you can begin to take action and if you haven’t figured it out yet, almost of our learning in life comes from doing. If you want to learn how to talk in front of people, then find opportunities to talk in front of people as often as you can. If you want to learn how to do presentations, do more presentations. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue to seek as much knowledge as you can get your hands on to help you become successful at what you want to do, it does mean you shouldn’t wait for complete knowledge before you take action.

A big reason for people avoiding taking action is fear of embarrassment. If you want to be successful at anything, you must learn to set that fear aside, because, it’s very difficult to look good and get better at the same time. Face the fact, you are going to screw up from time to time, that’s life and we learn by making mistakes. Instead of being afraid of how you look as you learn and grow, be afraid of not taking action and living your life at a fraction of your true potential.

As the saying goes from one of the presuppositions of NLP, “There is no failure, only feedback.”

When I was just about to leave school, and I left early, I had an appointment with my guidance teacher who sat me down and asked me what I wanted to do when I leave. Now I had known for a long time that I wanted to join the Royal Marines and I was at the bottom of a pile of former Royal Marines in my family, so I had a fairly good idea of what to expect. Well sort of, as nothing can really prepare you for the 8 months slog of basic training.

All I knew was that I had to be fit, so I had trained really hard for this and to the detriment of my exams. So I ultimately failed every exam and obviously my guidance teacher knew this and in this little conversation, when I told her my plans, she said “You’ll never be able to do that, you’ve got no qualifications and if you can’t get that, how do you expect to become a Royal Marine?”

This was like a red rag to a bull and needless to say, being a stroppy teenager, I told her exactly what I though of her opinion in no uncertain terms and walked out.

I was taking action, I had become extremely fit physically, however mentally I was letting myself down by not focusing on my exams and I let a nae sayer get under my skin because despite my stubborn streak, she got under my skin and knocked my confidence.

I did join the Royal Marines despite that and I lacked confidence which showed as mentioned by my training team on several occasions. They also told me that to work my way up the ranks, I would need to get some qualifications, so I took advantage of the Royal Marines education system and while I learned my job as a Royal Marine, I studied for my exams and, bit by bit I achieved far more than I ever thought possible with my education and personal development. I was taught many invaluable skills in the Royal Marines that have stood me in great stead and  will for the rest of my life and one of those is the unquenchable thirst for knowledge. To understand myself, what I’m capable of, because it’s always far more than we realise or think.

When we plan properly, take action and then review what we’ve done to learn from our mistakes and use that learning in our next plan, this is how we grow and become experts in what we do. It’s not an overnight process and it can be done.

What I’m saying is, embrace that fear, that uncomfortable feeling and take a leap of faith in yourself. You are capable of so much more when you push yourself and expand your comfort zone so that it incorporates more and makes all that feel normal and comfortable. The best thing is, this never has to end, it is a continuous process for the rest of our lives if we want it to be.

Here’s to your success.

Mindfullness Reminders


Recently I was reading a great post on a Facebook Group I’m on and it gave some excellent reminders of how to practice Mindfulness, which has become a lost art for many these days. The group is called Mind Over Fatter (the psychology of weightloss) and it is owned by a gentleman called Greg Justice. I think you’ll enjoy the discussions on there.

The Ten Guiding Principals of Mindfulness
1. Awareness. Stuff happens every second, and if seconds could be divided even those particles have moments that slip by too fast or too slow. The stomach tickles, to take a check into what’s going on inside of your head and your body. It’s like using those little emoticons and smileys in your texts and tweets that show immediately your awareness of what you are feeling on the inside – and projecting it outward!

2. Acceptance. You already know what you really experience –it is true for you, whether or not you like it– no matter what anyone else might say. This moment is the time to stop the fight over what goes on with you in your mind that you want to change, avoid, get back at, get even with, or on the other hand, even to crow about. In this moment you don’t have to be responsible to make a change or to change – merely to accept.

3. Compassion- It is commendable to be on the road to improvement. But usually you do it by criticizing your weaknesses, lacks, and you may even be down about what you did wrong, mistakes, missed plans. Take this moment to be as compassionate to yourself, as you would be to others in need. Give yourself the hug, the pat, the nod, the ok, that you would give to your dear friend or relative.

4. Invitation- Today we might be expecting to be super heroes and use your own power as a force–even if it’s for the good like Captain America or Black Widow. But this attitude is about the moment to just be curious about possibility, what will be will be without any you force or power to make things happen. Force causes a stiff neck which blocks the flow of energy or chi. Why do you think people, who seem stubborn, blocked and immovable are called – “Stiff Necked?”

5. Non-judgment- Of course you have opinions–that is part of who you are. But this is the moment to dispel judgment–just to ease and observe, take a load off because it’s a relief not to have to know where your philosophy is all the time.

6. Patience- The things you don’t like or want happen too quickly–bills come, deadlines come, preparations and intentions don’t always pan out, the best growth and discoveries usually take more time than you think, and are not easy, but that’s ok and that’s the way it is.

7. Practice- Thinking, planning, understanding, feeling inspired are all great, but like the saying, put your muscle where your mouth is. Until you practice it’s nothing more than interesting and entertaining ideas and thoughts.

8. Present moment focus- Luckily you remember the past– and are also planning the future–it’s life and what you have to do, and it is useful to think in all directions. But this moment is just to be aware of the moment, what is filling up this exact moment. It’s not empty, each moment to the next is willed with sight, sound, sensations, thoughts, emotions.

9. Tolerance- Into every life some rain must fall the old saying goes and nobody escapes some unpleasantness and pain and that’s just the way it is. In this moment learn to tolerate the bad, and appreciate a peaceful feeling that it is just there.

10. Validation. What you experience goes on inside you and is your thought, emotion, sensation. It is there for a reason because it is what makes you unique. You have your learning, your history, your genetics, your personality, and that is you and valid–whether you understand the moment’s experience or not.

Take away: It is interesting to note how successful 12-step self-improvement programs echo the Principles of Mindfulness above. All such programs owe their origin to the Oxford Groups led by Dr. Frank Buchman in the 1920s. According to Buchman the guiding principles of the “OGs” were: absolute honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love. Another example of east meets west?

You can find the original post and the FB Group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/491885354262293/permalink/729736670477159/?comment_id=742205415896951&offset=0&total_comments=2&ref=notif&notif_t=group_comment_mention

Behavioural Flexibility and Adaptability


I’m in the midst of writing an article for the National Guild of Hypnotists publication, “The Journal of Hypnotism” on ‘Adaptability and Flexibility in Hypnosis’. This is something, as a practising hypnotherapist, I feel is an essential skill in order for me to give my very best to my patients/clients.

There is no one method, tool, technique works for everyone and as therapists, we must be aware of  what our clients present us with and how they respond to what we say and do as we figure out the most beneficial way to help them.

The same principal is true in every day life in how we interact with other people, not just in our verbal language but also in how we behave, our non-verbal communication which is much more telling most of the time than what we say.

Have you ever responded to someone else’s comments or behaviour in a way that either immediately or a bit later on you thought, “that didn’t quite go to plan”? Sometimes, because of the mood you were in i.e. grumpy, frustrated or angry etc you spoke, and/or behaved towards someone else from that mindset when they had absolutely nothing to do with it and they got the brunt of your mood.

It happens to all of us from time to time as it is part of being human and it most likely happens before you even realise it. When you’re in this frame of mind it can be difficult to remember that you have a choice in how you communicate with someone else as you are on a roll at that point, however it can be learnt like anything else.

Of course, equally you could be the one on the receiving end of it and it can be much easier at this point to behave differently and perhaps give them the benefit of the doubt, especially when you know you are not the cause of the other persons mood. By remaining calm and show a little care for the other person, it is quite possible that they will calm down quicker than they would have on their own, and certainly quicker than if you had retaliated in the same manner.

This is what I mean by having adaptability and flexibility in our behaviour. It allows us to make informed choices and make good decisions about how we can respond in any given situation and also to different people and their differing personalities. This doesn’t mean you roll over and become a soft touch that can be pushed around, what it does mean is that you can create positive solutions to many different situations that could, if handled in a less adaptable away lead to escalation, aggression and personal conflict.

This has become most evident for me with my kids who are 6 & 8. At their age they don’t necessarily understand why they feel the way they do and can get frustrated, angry and upset for no real apparent reason. This happens in particular when they are asked to do something and I’m pretty sure any of you that are parents will recognise this all too well. Now I realise that what I’m about to explain can’t realistically be used in the exact same way with adults, however you can adapt it to fit the circumstances you find yourself in.

What I do when my kids get angry and upset is continue to talk to them calmly and ask them what’s going on for them to feel the way they do right now. As I do this I ask them to take my hand and come and sit down with me, this gets compliance from the outset. If they won’t take my hand I ask them to come and sit down with me and if they won’t do that, I sit on the floor in front of them and hold their hands, at this point they just sit on my lap. If they are really upset and crying I look them in the eyes and get them to take a few deep breaths with me as I softly tell them to relax and calm down.

When I talk to them I explain, if they have not done what I originally asked them to do, why I got annoyed with them and ask them if they understand. I do not continue until they tell me that they do understand my reasons. If they are upset for no particular reason I ask them to tell how they feel, where they feel it and jut to let it go and give them a big hug. I tend to find that they sob their hearts out at this point and may not actually know at the end how or why they felt the way they did and they just feel better.

Now you understand why this won’t work with adults, I can’t imagine sitting with a client or a colleague on my lap with them sobbing into my shoulder, however, you can quite easily adapt this to fit your own style and the other persons to resolve a bad mood, confrontation or whatever is going on.

A simple way to help someone shift their mood and mindset is to change their posture. When we are in a bad mood, angry, annoyed, frustrated etc we adopt a certain posture which generally includes tensing muscles, clenching jaws among many other characteristics.

By talking to that person and mentioning how tense they look and making them aware of it can be a good start and then  lead them to take a deep breath and tell you what’s going on. Maybe even going for a coffee somewhere to do that so they can feel easier about talking in private, if they want to at all. Sometimes just showing a little compassion can make all the difference as they feel they are being heard and that someone else actually recognises them and the way they feel.

If they are up for it, go through a brief progressive muscle relaxation with them to help reduce tension and enable them to let that negative mood begin to slip away.

At the end of the day, if they turn round and tell you to Foxtrot Oscar, at least you have been kind enough to reach out and you can’t force it, they have to want to accept it. They may come back to you late anyway so give them the benefit of the doubt and leave it open.

Have a brilliant day.

Simon 🙂

P.S.

Chesterfield School in the UK have this really cool Behaviour for Learning Code poster which you can see below. We can all take something from this because every day’s a school day 😉

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