I am fortunate to be in a profession where ‘inspiration’ is always on the menu. Inspiration provides empowerment which fuels my life. I actively seek out things to excite and challenge the life inside of me on a weekly basis. Sometimes that comes in the form of a coffee date with a colleague or reading something about someone’s life and experience. In all of life, I am continually seeking inspiration to boost my personal empowerment. This is most likely the same for you because as human beings there are things in life that we experience as ‘life-giving’. Those things which are adding to our joyful experience give life part of its richness, texture, and colour.
This ‘joie de vive’ is one of the things we tend to lose when everything in life collapses on top of us and depression sets in. Our mindset feels encased in concrete. There is no moving forward. To move in any direction seems pointless (and too much like hard work) as that familiar feeling sucks the life right out of you.
Depression doesn’t discriminate. It comes seeking the rich, the poor, every ethnicity, and sexual orientation. No one is exempt, because we all feel emotion. You may not have ever known clinical depression, but I will wage that at some point in your life you have felt deep emotional pain. Many times this emotional pain has to do with broken dreams or unattained goals. This can lead to a sense of hopelessness and eventually a sense of being disempowered.
My week started with a remarkable story of triumph. I listened intently as a man who came from nothing, from a life of complete and utter brokenness on every level shared how he had overcome. (See the video below.)
Sitting back in my chair I pondered. Plenty of people have dreams, some have really big dreams. What is the ‘make or break’ point? How do we guarantee success?
Firstly, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a huge dream. What you have to determine from the outset is: what is the price you are willing to pay to achieve it?
Often people set out on a path with a very rose-tinted outlook. Dreaming is good, visualising is great, but with all of that comes the flipside – having a concrete plan in place and firmly basing what you are doing into the realm of reality.
I once met a man who told me with absolute certainty and a deep belief that he was going to win the lottery. He told me at great length the exact amount of money he wanted to win and went into detail about what he planned to do with his winnings. Smiling politely, I listened to him expound about holidays all over the world, multiple houses and cars, and living ‘the dream’. I will admit that he certainly had a grand plan.
So, playing the role of devil’s advocate as I sometimes do, I asked him a very simple question, “Do you have a ticket?” He looked at me and replied, ‘No I don’t.’ It seemed to me, that having a ticket would have been the first step in his process. This young man would have moved closer towards his goal if he had the first step in place. Of course, I realise that this is a strange example to use because winning a lottery has incredibly high odds attached to it.
What I hope to highlight is the fact that you can have a dream, but it will remain a dream until you start to develop a strategic set of steps (a plan) to get from point A to point B to point C and so on and so forth.
Naturally, I do not negate the spiritual element and the various and plentiful possible outcomes. The Universe is highly ordered by which I mean, there are definite laws in place. The more we understand those laws and implement them, the better off we will be. However, we cannot hope for things to magically happen. The young man who wanted to win the lottery had no such chance because he didn’t have the most fundamentally important thing in place – a ticket!
A part of practicing that order is us creating a plan and being flexible (and highly adaptable) to change. After all, ‘life’ isn’t linear. We often get bent out of shape because our thinking is linear, but the flow of life isn’t. We like to believe in the ‘step by step’ approach from one goal to another. But the nature of life and existence is the fact that we will invariably encounter a few curveballs. This is why flexibility in our attitudes is necessary for our mental health and well-being. When we are rigid in our thinking and we are trying to get things done point by point and it doesn’t work out that way, this is when we tend to become discouraged.
If you can entertain the reality of the situation, feel completely terrified, and still do it, then you have taken the first and most necessary step in the right direction. The key here is to carry on repeating the process. You will soon find that the things that used to scare you become so much easier to negotiate. This happens as a result of gaining confidence where before there was only fear and self-doubt.
If you want to win, you have to continually be in forward motion. Most of us start the race towards our proposed goal sprinting like supercharged athletes. What we seem to forget (because we didn’t have a plan) was to warm up, stretch. Go for a few jogs and build up towards a long-distance run. By doing so we think ahead and avoid the pain that would ultimately result from not doing so. Neglecting the value of the ‘slow burn’ approach is an easy-to-avoid error. When it comes to personal empowerment, incremental change (aka the slow burn), is what will help to sustain permanent change.
When we are ‘in reality’ we tend to be more practical. We look at strategies and revise them. If you plan to build a business, and you don’t have a strategy in place, you are going to burn out in the first year. ‘Slow and steady’ truly does win the race! Does this mean you won’t have to work hard? The short answer: No! ‘Starting slow’ doesn’t imply ‘starting weak’. Unless you are starting with a bunch of money backing you (and even if you are) you are going to have to work very hard to get to the top of your game and stay there.
The most important thing most ‘gurus/coaches/parents/teachers/peers’ will never tell is this: you have to persevere and never give up! When you are pursuing your dreams it has to be a relentless pursuit! This not only applies to business, but to our overall life experience. One of the many problems of our modern age is instant gratification. We snap our fingers and our order arrives within 24 hours or less. There is no such thing as seasonal fruit anymore because we can have what we want 24-7-365.
Unfortunately, the all-pervasive lie is: ‘You can have it all and you can have it right now!’ Really? Ask Warren Buffett how long it took him to achieve a net worth of $84.4 billion (2019). A wise investment in personal empowerment is the same as any other – it’s growth over time!
Logically speaking it is unreasonable to think that you are going to sort out your life in 3 seconds because it has taken you your whole life to arrive at the point where you are now.
The good news is, it’s not going to take 20-30 years to sort it out – book a free 25-minute consultation and I will tell you more! How long will it take? Well, how long is a piece of string? Everyone heals at a different rate. You can go and sit and speak to a therapist for years – some people still choose to do that, and that’s fine.
But if you want a more proactive approach to healing and personal growth, where you see faster results, then traditional talk therapy is probably not for you. This is when working with a Life Coach, like myself, is beneficial because it’s not a passive process that keeps you locked into your misery and suffering. If anything my mission in life is to help my clients train their minds to have the life they want and are invested in having (just like Navy Seal David Goggins in the video below).
The secret of personal empowerment is this: your mindset is the key to your success. Working with the right coach who can help you look at reality, who can help you to develop your personal strengths is a useful and valuable commodity.
If you feel like you are failing at life, go back to the basics, to the foundation of what your beliefs are about yourself, and about the life you live.
In conclusion, you can sit in heap, bound in negative thoughts and feelings that make you feel like you are being eaten alive from the inside out. Or you can get up and pursue the life you want and have it. It comes down to what you choose.
Reach out to me for a chat – it costs you nothing but your time!
JAN LAUREN LIFE COACH ONLINE
LONDON AND WORLDWIDE