Who are you currently, today? Who were you 5 years ago? 15 years ago? 25 years ago? Have you changed?
Have you changed in some ways, but are deep down the same person you’ve always been? That’s typically how life unfolds.
If you ran into someone you knew 20 years ago or 10 years ago, but haven’t seen since then, what would they say after coming away from a deep conversation with you? “He/She hasn’t changed a bit!” or, “He’s/She’s really come a long way,” or, “He’s/She’s not the person I remember.”
Be honest. What do you think they might say?
Do you feel like a different person than you used to be?
Here’s the thing. Most of us just going along with life. We inherit beliefs. We take on the culture. We learn what colors look good on us and stick to it. We make decisions – go to school or don’t… take this job or that… marry and have kids, or not… choose to go to church or not. We act in ways that feel right to us, or automatic to us. Some habits we kinda sorta wish we could change (like always being late everywhere you go) but we don’t actively do anything about it.
For me, there have certainly been habits and things in my life I ‘wished’ were different. But many, many things I have changed purposefully, intentionally at some point.
It’s like waking up – realizing you have power, and then acting upon it.
For example, my dad was always late, and I hated growing up always arriving late – to school, to birthday parties, walking into Sunday school late… countless times being late. Unfortunately, I took it up. I was always late myself as an adult. I guess it was what I was accustomed to, even though I hated it.
Then one day, maybe around age 27 (?), I woke up to the fact that I could change. So, I did. I set my intention on the importance of being on time. I owned that I had a choice. I realized how good it made me feel to be on time, or early. I felt more relaxed, and it felt way more respectful to the people I was meeting. Change. You might call it re-inventing yourself, but this is a small step, a habit changed.
Yet, what if you changed many small things, many habits of action and of mind. Would that qualify as re-inventing yourself?
I was listening to a webinar recently from Sam Ovens. He’s a successful consultant and was sharing tips on how to moved from debt, living in a tiny space and being depressed to the multi-millionaire sales leader he is today. He had re-invented himself, to craft the person he wanted to become.
When I thought about this, it made sense. The person you are now is Point A. And who you desire to be is Point B. How do you move from A to B?
We do it lots of ways. In terms of building success, we say, ok, I’ll read these books, go to this self-development seminar, take these trainings, invest this amount. That’s amazing.
But if you’re not happy or if you’re not successful, then something isn’t aligning between Point A and Point B. Sam Ovens suggests really shaking things up drastically.
He made a list of who he would be if he were successful. On his list, he became quite detailed – even listing things like his hairstyle, how he would dress, what his office would look like.
Now, my close friend came to see me the other day with her beautiful long, dark hair flowing past her shoulders. I hadn’t seen her hair in years probably. She always keeps it tied back, close to her head. I commented on how lovely her hair looked down and flowing and she said something that really stuck with me. She said, “When I envision myself happy and successful, this is what I look like.”
Wow. I love that.
Do you have a picture in your mind’s eye of what you look like at your peak of happiness and success?
I’ve been so involved in personal and spiritual growth that I know I am a different person now than I was 10 years ago, or even 3 years ago. I love evolving, endeavoring to become kinder, wiser, more loving, happier, more successful.
But the truth is, to be able to do ‘the next level’ of success for me, I have to grow into it. I’ve always had to grow into it. Speaking on stage? I was not a person who could do that successful 10 years ago. I would sweat and stumble over my words. I had to become someone who could do that. And when I envision myself on stage now, I get an image in my mind’s eye.
Sam Ovens goes drastically further in his suggestion to change who you are. You are you – but a different version. He advised one of his clients to do the opposite of every habit he had. Examples: his client went to bed every night at 9pm, so Sam advised him to stay up til 4am, his client had been vegan for 7 years, so Sam advised him to eat meat. Wow.
There was a long list of these items that were particular to this client, and of course, the moral of the story was that this client became uber successful.
What about you? What do you think about re-inventing yourself, inside and out? Being the You 2.0?
I’ve been sitting with this idea for a little while now. I’m reminded of a Seinfeld episode where George says…. “What if every impulse I’ve ever had has been wrong? What if that is why my life is such a mess? What if I chose to do the direct opposite of every instinct?” In the episode, he does so and his life blossoms.
I think it’s an interesting, slightly funny and even odd endeavor to begin to randomly do, think, act and even look like a different person (different version of yourself). Change your hairstyle, change your clothes, change what you eat, change where you hang out, change your nightly routine, change the music you listen to, change your morning wake up time, etc.
Yet so many times, we live the same day over and over again – yet expect change.
Wake up at 6am, have breakfast (usually same thing), drive same route to work in the same car, interact with same people at the same office, work on the same or similar projects, eat the same things for lunch, drive home listening to the same radio station, eat the same dinner with the same people, have the same evening routine, watch the same television shows, and then go to bed to do it all again the next day.
What would it be like to flip the script? Re-invent one thing or ten things about yourself?
If you’ve been in personal growth, you have probably done versions of this before (think Miracle Morning, taking on meditation as a beginner, investing in a personal trainer at the gym).
For me, I’ve been thinking about who I am, what I do, what I eat, what time I go to bed, and even what I look like. Part of it is, “What does the most successful and happy version of me really look like?” And part of it is, “How can I mix things up to shake up my self-image, my comfort zone and my reality?”
I work late, often til 1am.
I’m considering going to bed at 9pm.
I wear glasses. They are a definite part of my identity.
I’m considering (and have been doing this for a few days now) going to contacts.
I have long hair and have for most of my life. Plain, simple, straight.
I’m considering a new hairstyle. I’m thinking shorter, Brazilian blow-out and color… maybe? How bold do I feel!
I am a coffee drinker. Black, sweetened, mocha lattes, iced, hot.
I’m considering become a tea drinker.
These are a few ideas rattling around in my head.
How have I already re-invented myself in the last few years?
I was an introvert. Quiet, shy, reluctant to talk to strangers.
I have become way more of an extrovert. I enjoy meeting new people and talking to strangers. I love connecting with people.
I was self-conscious. Worried about how other people perceive me.
(Still working on this one but it’s way better)
I was a big news fan. I would watch Anderson Cooper every day.
I have cut the news almost entirely out of my life. I only know/remember what channels the news is even on because I see my husband turn it on once in a while.
So, tell me… What does your re-invented self look like?
What would it mean for you to try something new, step outside of your comfort zone, be a different version of you? Do you think it makes a difference?
When you close your eyes and picture yourself in your ideal life, what do you look like? What do you wear? How do you walk? How do you carry yourself? What do you do? Where do you go? How do you talk to others? What lunch do you order? What time do you go to bed? What is your morning routine?
It’s not about changing yourself to please anyone. It’s about you becoming the best version of yourself.
One of the joys of parenting, and this goes if you are choosing to homeschool and have even more of their full attention, is the ability and the honor, to be able to instill values in our children and bestow our life philosophy. Why not include the much-needed and beautiful art of learning to fully and completely love ourselves?
We are imperfect in our humanness.
We are perfect in our divinity.
And we need to help our children understand both sides of this.
Here is what I have come to believe and speak to myself, and am instilling in my children.
“I am full and complete. I love myself.”
When the moment is joyful… “I am full and complete. I love myself.”
When the moment is sad… “I am full and complete. I love myself.”
After a tantrum… “I am full and complete. I love myself.”
There is nothing lacking. Nowhere to get to. Nowhere to go. There is no journey only because it is always now. And now is perfect, just as it is.
When we accept our now, we experience joy. This is a beautiful place from which to grow our future. But it comes from accepting our perfection in the moment. The wholeness of our spirit.
Self-acceptance: So vital for each of us. For, we cannot move forward to create a beautiful, loving, peaceful life without it.
Feeling lazy? Fully accept it. Love yourself. Feeling angry? Fully accept it. Love yourself. Feeling inspired? Fully accept it. Love yourself.
At every turn, in every way.
As Louise Hay would say… “You’ve spent your entire lifetime criticizing yourself. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Because when you are in full acceptance of what is (with love), the desire to create more, move forward, change, will call to you easily and effortlessly. Life will get better and better.
Jesse Elder says… “Need nothing. Appreciate everything. Have it all.”
And when you are “full and complete” there is no need for anything. You simply are. You are full of spirit. You are pure love.
Let’s help our children to learn this lesson early in life, so they are not having to re-train their minds as adults, as many of us are still doing. Let’s help them cultivate self-love by acknowledging their wholeness, their completeness, their goodness. Whether it’s through mirror-talk, self-talk, journaling or with the help of a parenting through echoing words… begin early, begin now. What a life they will have.
“It is often at the moment when ‘our way’ isn’t working anymore, that we open our minds to consider something new.”
A Course in Miracles is: “A self-study program of psychotherapy based on universal spiritual themes.” ” The crux of the course, which is not a religion and has no dogma or doctrine, is the relinquishment of fear and the acceptance of love into our hearts to replace it.”
“From a metaphysical perspective, every experience begins with a thought. And our experience changes when we change the thought.”
The main principle of A Course in Miracles, and key to the peace of God, is this: “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Love is the all-encompassing reality of God, and thus, can have no opposite. The absence of love, which is fear, is mere illusion. Love is the only eternal truth, while fear is a hallucination of the mortal mind.
Throughout this book, the fear mind will be referred to as the ego. Every thought is a cause that produces an effect. According to ACIM, every thought we think creates form on some level. If your mind is in a loving place, if your thoughts are of a high, divine vibration, your experience will reflect that. If your mind is in a fearful place, if your thoughts are of a lower, dense vibration, your experience will reflect that. The way to change the nature of your experience, is to change the nature of your thoughts. Seeking to solve a problem on the level of effect, is not a true solution but merely a temporary fix. Only when we address the level of cause (the thoughts that caused the original deviation from love) do we produce miraculous and fundamental results.”
** Disclaimer** As you read this article, please note that I am not a therapist. I do not hold any certification in mental health or psychology. I do not have any medical training. My training is from Duke IM for Coaching. The article below is based on my opinion. Please exercise self-care and self-responsibility. Thank you. In love~
Therapy vs. Coaching – How do you know which is the right one for you?
In life coaching, this is not an uncommon question to come up.
That’s because therapy is traditional. And no matter how wrong Freud was 🙂 there is still very much a societal conditioning that therapy will “cure what ails us” by doing our due diligence with self-care for mental health and well-being.
I’m actually a fan of therapy. I’ve been to a therapist off and on for large chunks of my life starting at age 19…. although, if I’m honest… I desperately desired to go to therapy when I was a child.
Therapists have specialized training in mental conditions… depression, anxiety, OCD (obsessive-compulsive behavior), narcissistic tendencies, body dysmorphia, and so on and so forth. They also have specialized skills such as cognitive behavioral therapy, for example.
I believe there are times in our lives when therapy may be the absolute best course of action. For me, I desperately needed to heal from my past, and therapy helped me to do that. I also took medication for depression at that time.
Where it gets tricky is when you want life change – something in life is not going well – and you think… a therapist could help me talk this through. And that’s the thing. That is typically what therapists do. They listen while you talk. Sometimes they recommend.
But it is also possible to begin spinning wheels and going over the same stuff, different day with no real action or change. This is of course, my opinion.
A family member told me after months of therapy that she quit going because all that would ever happen is that she would go there and cry.
Woody Allen famously joked (in his film, Annie Hall) that he has been seeing a therapist for 30 years and was just about at a breakthrough.
Therapy is notorious for healing the past by talking about it from every angle, identifying ‘what is wrong’ (as in, you have clinical depression, or you have social anxiety, or you have fear of intimacy, etc.) and then talking about it some more. And because therapists are in the established medical community, they will continue to be a mainstay, much as doctors are, continuing to receive referrals and doing their work no matter the outcomes 6 months into the sessions or 2 years into the sessions. (Coaches on the other hand would lose clients if there were no results from 6 months or 2 years of coaching.)
Again, as I said, I benefited from therapy many times. And it may very well be that this is the approach that will best serve you.
My most recent stint with therapy is when anxiety surfaced and I had panic attacks. I received help and medication and, because I loved my therapist so much (a heart-centered professional trained in mindfulness), I still see her 2-3 times a year.
How is Life Coaching different?
With a coach, the focus shifts entirely. Instead of replaying the past and analyzing it, or engaging in talk therapy, or engaging in naming a ‘disorder,’ coaches focus on gaining insights on patterns of thought, goal-creation, goal-setting, accountability, aligning values, cultivating self-love, acceptance, growth and making a plan.
Coaching also assumes self-responsibility and a large degree of self-awareness.
Individuals who are in the game (consciously or sub-consciously) of blaming others, feeling like a victim to circumstance, and who do not yet recognize their own power are most likely better candidates for therapy. Coaching really requires that you be truly accountable for yourself, for your own action, for you own thoughts and life circumstance. Coaches can support you in this process and they hold the vision for you that you dream of having for yourself.
Currently, my mind is filled with visions of (future) millionaire clients, business owners, passionate travelers and so forth…
Coaching is also designed for individuals who are truly “functional” and who can show up fully and authentically to sessions.
I had a friend once who would go to therapy and lie. I’m not sure what the point was, but eventually she stopped going.
When I was 20, I would have been a terrible candidate for coaching. I was a helpless, confused, depressed mess. Truthfully, I would have probably missed half of my coaching sessions. And that simply will not do.
Coaching requires a different kind of commitment. I hire coaches now because I am fully in the game of life. I fully own my responsibility in creating my life, and I know that there are steps I need to take to improve my life, my health, my business.
I hire coaches because I need the clarity, the focus, the deep-listening, the critical insights, the vision building that will help me break through to my next level of best self.
But here’s the thing you may be surprised to hear. Coaching (unbiased coaching) can actually help you decide which is better for you to do right now.
The truth is, I have no stake in whether or not you sign up for coaching with me. That is because I’ve learned the beautiful law of detachment from outcomes. I set my intention to serve others through my gift. I serve. My abundance does not have to come through you/through my clients – it comes from God. So, I can speak with you authentically about whether coaching or therapy is best for you, because I have no reason to sway you one way or the other. I can simply listen deeply and ask questions that will elicit the right answer for you at this moment in time. I would never, ever steer you away from therapy if that is what was right for you.
I do believe I’m one of the few coaches who questions your “Yes!” when you say you want to work with me. (Thank you Rich Litvin) That’s because of the integrity I want to have in my relationships, and because I want you to be absolutely sure and comfortable.
Have you wondered if therapy or coaching is a better fit? I was on the phone with someone today in fact, who was wondering this as well. Let’s figure it out together. There’s no charge for this call, but it could be one of the most important calls of your life. Schedule it here: www.TheTruthAboutLiving.com/private-coaching