"Obstacles are opportunities in disguise"
- Deepak Chopra
Before we share these 3 principles that we have boiled down and explain how we use them, it’s important to get to know yourself just a bit more.
That might sound strange, but you will see why soon.
Knowing just a bit more about yourself will help you get clearer on your intentions so you can better use these universal principles and experience the life of your dreams as well and start accomplishing those things that really excite you!
Skipping this crucial process of knowing yourself will lead to you missing the entire point and you will not come anywhere close to accomplishing those deep desires you have within you.
Over time and with consistent practice you may come to the realization that it's really all just one thing, one step, 1 practice, 1 principle. However it is helpful to break things down into smaller parts to digest and absorb them.
Later you will have some "ah-ha" moments that will clue you in to many things you are currently "stuck on" in your life AND how to resolve or move past them.
Remember these steps are universal and anyone can benefit, but only if applied correctly. In fact, these steps changed our life entirely and they will for you too we guarantee it!
After using these 3 steps, the difference will be that you are now in the driver seat of "change" versus the backseat. (It's really hard to drive the car from way back there)
Also, you will have developed a deeper sense of self-awareness, self-confidence and overall a much more joyful experience of life as a whole.
A BIG claim yes indeed and we stand behind it!
Disclaimer: Just reading this article will NOT produce life changing results, not even close.
Only if you take these seeds (ideas), plant them (create the space for them in your life) and then nurture these seeds daily (give focused attention and practice) you will see them grow and produce the fruit you have been longing for.
You may experience difficulty early on, but see it as a fun game and have a sense of light-heartedness with this process. (It is so much more enjoyable that way)
In our experience life is supposed to be fun, joyful and fulfilling. That's our perspective, feel free to make your own!
So let's get to know ourself a bit more... shall we?
Which one are you?
Below are two scenarios. Read through them and think to yourself which one do I more closely relate to.
There are no right or wrong answers, instead there is only that which moves you closer to your goals or further away. So just for now do not judge, instead just see what comes up for you.
This example is about weight loss but you can substitute any goal you would like in here like a better relationship, more money, starting your own business, paying off a loan etc.
You sign up for a 4 week "Lose Fat Fast" program that guarantees at least 10-15 pounds of weight loss over the course of 4 weeks.
It requires you to follow their meal plan (which is a drastic change to your current diet), to workout 5 days a week (which is another huge lifestyle change) and to weigh-in weekly (which is not fun).
You aren’t sure if it’s “for real” but they offer a full money back guarantee and you figure it’s only a month what the hell!
You end up crushing it and lose 25 pounds!!!
You can’t believe it!!
You actually did it!
You did BETTER than the 10-15 pound loss guarantee on their ad!
Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance!!!
You feel like a million bucks and you are on top of the world.
The program is now over.
The following week you still feel good, but you notice you are tired.
Also there is some weird pain in your left knee, nothing too serious but it's annoying.
You are starting to lose some motivation to workout but manage about 2 days per week at the gym trying to just maintain all your progress.
It’s hard to get to the gym especially after that grueling month of trying to lose as much weight as you can. Your workouts are "lack luster" and you are really just going through the motions.
Plus there are friend's birthdays, holiday parties and weekend events coming up that you are looking forward to so you can show off all your hard work...
Oh and EAT, this will be fun!!!
You figure you just crushed it so you deserve it.
You eat a bit more at the parties, sit a bit more watching TV at home and start to make more excuses about that meal plan you used to follow that was working for you during your epic transformation.
Now it's 3 weeks after your 25 pound drop and you feel like crap honestly. You dare not step on a scale but you can feel that you are putting back on some of the weight you killed yourself to burn off not that long ago.
You are feeling a bit out of it but still happy that at least you are probably still at least 10 pounds down from when you first started, so it's all good you think.
By week 4 you realize it's been an entire month since you last weighed-in and you now finally step back on the ol' scale after building up enough courage.
You are back to where you started and now things seem worse than ever.
How is that even possible!!!!
ALL 25 POUNDS ARE BACK!!!
You are beyond unmotivated and feel like a literal piece of poop.
You feel totally defeated and have no idea what to do next...
But then when all hope is lost you get an email about another weight loss program coming up in the next few weeks at your gym... you are strongly considering doing it AGAIN!
"Hopefully it will finally -stick- this time around," you say...
You sign up for a 12 month program that guarantees at least 10-15 pounds of weight lost or your money back.
You think a year is a LONG TIME, but you know that 10-15 pounds is a very realistic goal for 12 months.
Not only is it "doable", but you wouldn't have to kill yourself with crazy workouts that lead to injury and crash diets that don't last.
You think, "Hey I can do this".
You feel that you would be able to maintain something like this long term and in real life.
After month 1 you don’t see the scale move much at all but your coach assures you this is normal and to trust the process. Most people need time to learn better habits and it can take a while for them to really take hold.
After month 2 the scale shows you are down 5 pounds and you feel great!
The scale hasn’t moved as much as you would like but somehow your clothes are smaller and you really haven’t been working out all that hard in the gym... let's be honest you haven't really done much exercise at all.
Your friends are started to notice and say things like, "Hey are you losing weight? What are you doing?"
Your only true answer is, "I'm learning better habits and strategies that work for me," of course your friends don't believe you...
By month 6 you are already down 15lbs and you almost feel like an imposter!
You feel bad about telling your friends and family, "Yea I am just eating a little bit better, I’m moving a little bit more and I’m just being as mindful and consistent as I can be."
You are simply just doing your best each day, whatever that looks like.
You can feel your friends and family starting to "hate-on-you" a little bit.
You can hear them whispering, “What is she doing, I bet you she is taking weight loss pills".
It’s closing in on the 10th month and now you have had so much practice with a few small and simple, yet transformative new habits. It dawns on you now that all these new skills seemed to come together effortlessly over time!
You are still you, and live the same life, but somehow everything is different. It's like downloading the newer version of the software on your phone.
This "upgraded lifestyle" just seems to have taken hold overnight but it really happened one small step at a time and you barely noticed.
You are doing things like eating more veggies, moving at least 10 mins per day, sleeping better, you even started sitting silently and meditating (didn't see that coming)!
And it is really making a difference. You feel less stressed and less anxious, your doctor says your blood pressure is down and to keep doing whatever you are doing.
Overall, daily life is just "better".
You are also more grateful and mindful too. And through this process you have shown your friends, family and more importantly yourself that doing a little bit *consistently* is WILDLY effective and transformational. (Your friends and family are starting to believe you now too).
You finish the the 12 month program losing a total of 30 pounds!!! And you have a totally whole new outlook on life!
You even got rid of some negative things and choices in your life which really allowed you to blossom.
With your new found energy, confidence and positive outlook you even met someone new! (Again didn't see that coming)
You feel alive, excited and simply happy!
-The first example yielded a 25 pound loss in weight over 4 weeks time. You then put back on all 25 pound in just about the same time period. It ends in frustration, depression and going back to the drawing board.
-The second example was a 30 pound loss, which is not that much better than in the first example in truth AND it took an entire year!!
The upside is that it was gradual and at your own pace, which was nice as you didn't have to kill yourself everyday in a gym.
-You learned a ton about yourself.
-You are less stressed
-You are more confident and know how to handle all the ups and downs life can throw at you over the course of a year while still staying the course
-You have a new appreciation for life, yourself and all the people in it.
-You got your "groove back". That inner spark of excitement and vitality!
-You are in the driver seat of your health and life. You now have all the skills and experience to take care of yourself fully!
In short, YOU ARE LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE!
And it's coming from within you, not from outside circumstances which you never had control over anyway... this is nice!
So stop and think... Which would you like to be?
Which makes more sense?
Which one would you sign up for?
You may have thought like both examples at one point or another and that's ok!
The best part is right now you can DECIDE again!
There is no wrong or right, it's just a decision for what you want to experience.
And by the way, these aren't just stories we made up.
These are 2 actual clients we have had over the years. They are real people who we took through both experiences and these are their real stories.
In all honesty, we used to run short term challenges and there is a time and place for everything. But eventually we decided that we could do better.
Now we use the mentality from the second example, or what Carol S. Dweck Ph.D. calls the "growth mindset".
It's what we do with our private clients and with our own lives, because it just simply works on every level no matter where you currently are!
But, again there is a time and place for everything.
You have to be READY to embark on this path...
You can NOT be pulled.
You have to be WILLING to do the work...
You can NOT be forced.
You have to be ABLE to perform these steps...
You can NOT have someone else do them for you.
The only way it works is when you decide that it will!
THE 3 UNIVERSAL STEPS
With every success we personally have experienced, there are 3 key components that we will now share with you.
Now that you know yourself on slightly deeper level you will be able to apply these to your life in better context and it will make for a much smoother ride.
You are now stepping into the driver seat!
Again these steps work for any goal but we will stick with the weight loss example for continuity purposes.
First: You are going to have to get clear(er)
What do you desire?
More money, losing 50 pounds, finding a partner etc...
That’s a good start but it’s not clear enough. Most people’s thinking is very scattered and they are constantly having conflicting thoughts.
This is a big factor in being stuck.
Have you ever thought one thing, then immediately discredit that thought with an opposing one?
It might be a conversation in your head like, "I want to lose 50lbs, but I could never do that".
This creates situations where you are repeating the same old stories that simply don’t move you closer to your goal.
Saying, "I desire to lose 50 pounds in 12 months so that I can feel confident, be a better role mole for my family and finally take that vacation in that bathing suit 👙 I’ve always wanted" is much more clear and impactful.
Now if you immediately think, yea but... you are doing it again! You just got less clear. You are not moving closer to your goal.
But if you start noticing these conflicting thoughts, then you can decide your next best thought and get back on track. Eventually this becomes easier as you strengthen this mental muscle and you will choose more of what you want and more often without the opposing mind chatter.
We aren't aiming for perfection here either, instead we are aiming for observation. We also aren't trying to become "positive thinking" robots, rather we are trying to step into the role of a scientist observing the data that comes along.
Remember to think of this like a game and if you have trouble, simply observe a child playing. Notice how light-hearted and easy going it all can be. In truth it's all pretend in the beginning.
That is to "Pre"-"tend".
"Pre" meaning before and "tend" from the latin meaning, to stretch.
So we are stretching before we actually take action... just like a workout.
Over time you will get better just like riding a bike.
Being more clear is not only about being specific and measurable with your goals like how much weight you want to lose and when, but also the feelings and emotions attached to them.
Your imagination is one of your most powerful tools and as we get older this tends to atrophy. But you can bring it back!
Imagine how you will feel once you are there?
Imagine what would it feel like if it were right here and now?
Close your eyes and really practice imagining how it would feel inside you, it might take a few minutes at first but it's crucial!
Here is a simple way of putting it:
Thoughts + emotions = intentions (being very clear)
Intention + small action steps = desired outcome
The key here is to do this *consistently* over time. If you are starting from zero, then just 5 mins a day is all you need to get going.
Second: You’re going to have to let it go... but pay attention!
Now that you are clearer than you have ever been and your thought is amplified by emotion using your imagination, let it go!
Each day as you practice being clear (say for 5 mins in the morning over coffee) let life do its thing... let your intention float away like a cloud in the sky.
You can not do what is necessary today to make it to your goal if you are constantly thinking about the goal.
That's called living in the future and no one has successfully done that to date.
You can only make progress in the eternal moment of now, with a small action step.
If you are worried about the past or what might happen in the future then being stuck is where you shall stay.
It's not our rules, it's just how things work!
Letting go is as simple as saying I let my intention (or goal) go and now I will move one step closer with my action of (insert action step) today.
Now it is time to listen and pay attention. You are constantly getting signs from your "inner-self" and the world around you. From your "gut feelings", to a "bad vibe", to a song stuck in your head or something that keeps popping up in your day to day life.
Personally, we see these all these things as signs and we feel the universe is always speaking to us. SERIOUSLY! This is not just woo-woo stuff either, things come in and out of your subconscious and conscious mind for a reason.
A lot of "your world" is your own projection of what you are tuned into. So in many ways your daily experience is actually a mirror reflecting back to you "your own stuff".
But many times we simply aren't aware.
Also, "like" attracts "like".
So "your stuff" will also bring into your awareness other "like stuff". That is to say your vibe attracts your tribe in many ways. And it goes beyond the people in your life and into everything else also!
This will help you solve problems, overcome obstacles, meet the right person or just simply have a better experience of your day.
A simple raising of your awareness throughout the day is all that is required.
You can ask a simple question every so often such as, "Why is this here right now?", or "What is this situation trying to teach me?" You can use this to reflect back on situations too.
The second question is especially great for times when you think things aren't going your way or when you are experiencing something "bad".
Third: Your going to have to focus on 1 small thing at a time.
This brings us to the last step.
Bite off less than you can chew... (literally when it comes to weight loss lol)!
By letting go of the future big picture you just emptied a huge amount of space on your hard drive to do some serious work in the PRESENT!
Congrats! Only in the present can progress be made!
Now is the time to break that large goal down into 1 step that you will do today.
Make it soooo small you can’t fail! It should take about 5 mins and little to no effort at first, but something you know you need to be doing right now to improve.
Maybe it’s 1 serving of veggies if you don’t eat veggies.
Maybe it’s 5 minutes of walking if you are sedentary.
Maybe it’s 5 mins of meditation if you are very anxious and stressed.
The “what” you do isn’t so much important as the “how” you go about doing it.
So choose something that makes the most sense to you and don’t over think it, whatever pops up first is usually exactly what is best for you right now and this will change over time as you do and maybe even day to day.
Then go about it mindfully (this is the "how").
Allow yourself to be as present as you can be during your action step and eventually your whole day. This will happen naturally as you pay attention to your body, mind and emotions during these small action steps.
Once you have completed today's action step celebrate your victory! This helps reinforce this new approach in your being.
A pat on the back or high five goes a long way in helping to rewire the neural network in your brain. This allows you to re-write old patterns that aren't helping you!
Each "daily win" will create the future big win you desire down the road. Remember nothing happens overnight!
So find a way to tell yourself thank you and that you made real progress today, you did it!
And if for some reason you missed a day or could n