Every day I get involved in change and transformation. The clients I work with are looking for help with something. This could be increasing strength and mobility, being ready to complete an event or to lose weight and tone up. All of these involve change and we all react very differently to meeting new challenges and letting go of old habits. I had no idea when I started as a Coach that there would be so much psychology involved. It is fascinating to work closely with a client and to find ways to motivate and move them forwards. To see confidence grow and challenges met is rewarding and a great result. Sometimes this is an easy process but it can be a long and involved journey with lots of ups and downs along the way.
What I want to share with you today is that we all need to think about the way we see and talk to ourselves. We can be incredibly supportive and kind to others but I see individuals battling against themselves as they try to change. Often we are trying to move forward from habits created when we were younger. Our self image is often formed early and for many is full of negatives. We look in the mirror and don’t see what other people see. Even as we lose weight and tone we still see what needs to change. We find it hard to congratulate ourselves and to celebrate how far we have come. There is always more to do before we will be happy no matter how dramatic the change.
I can remember reading an article that asked what you wish you could tell your 18 year old self with the benefit of your experience. I’m sure that I am not alone in thinking that I would tell myself to have more confidence and just get on and try things. To wear the bikini, take every opportunity to try new things and celebrate all your achievements. I am sure that if I had done that through the years I would have got where I am now far more quickly. I can still be hard on myself and my worst critic but I do acknowledge that I have achieved some pretty amazing things too.
I sat on the train coming back from visiting my eldest daughter at University and I smiled. I’d had a great day and was excited about going home and spending the evening with my husband. Anyone who knows my history will understand what a big thing that is for me. I have made some tough decisions and big changes and I am happy. I am proud of what I have achieved with my work and love what I do.
I see my girls growing and their confidence and belief in their abilities and I am excited for them. I hope that I have taught them to be kind to themselves and to look forward. I know they think that I do some crazy things and take on challenges that are nuts but it is about trying and doing. If you don’t try you will never know what you could achieve. So when my daughter tells me that she felt awful so pulled on her trainers and ran 6k making it all the way up the steps without stopping and up the hill too, I am thrilled. She understands that exercise will change her mood, make her feel good and put her back in control. That is a lesson that I wish I had learnt sooner. Feeling strong and being outside moving is a real game changer.
So if you are stuck inside your own head and can’t see past all the negatives that you have built up over the years then now is the time to take control and make a change. I’ve done it. I have worked with many clients that have done it. You can too. There is always a way. You just have to try.
Here are 3 quick tips to get you started.
- Set yourself a challenge. Make it physical and it needs to excite you and panic you a little too! Sign up to do a walk or run or swim in 12 weeks time and write yourself a plan to get you out 3 times a week building your distance. You can find lots of plans online. Make sure you write all the sessions in your diary or on the calendar and tick them off as you go.
- Buy a notebook and each week write in 10 things that you are proud of or that have made you smile. This can be related to work, family, an email, the sunshine, a walk. The only rule is that it must be positive. It sounds a bit woo-woo but do it – it works!!
- Every day take 10 minutes sitting quietly doing nothing other than breathing. If you need help then the ‘Headspace’ app is a good place to start and has a free 10 day starter programme.
I would love you to comment and to let me know what you think and how you get on. If you want some support then please get in touch. Have a look at my Get Moving Plan here