As previously mentioned, I am quite partial to a bit of self help/self development.
When I spout about this in RL, I either get eye rolls or blank stares, but this is MY blog and I’ll write want I bloody well want Goddamnit!
I’ve spent this Summer visiting galleries, exhibitions and bookshops (ok, not to mention a few beaches and the odd pub – *wink*) to recharge my Creative Batteries.
So it’s now September and the end of the English school holidays, it feels like a time of renewal. Back to work with an invigorated mindset and time for some mental rejuvenation.
I always want to try to improve as a human being, whether that’s physically, mentally or creatively. So the title question of this post has popped up more than once in my travels – it’s almost become a cliché...
There are numerous books, TED talks and You Tube videos (most notably Tony Robbins) posing this exact question –
What Would you do if you could not fail?
I like Tony Robbins. I like his bold style and direct approach. Some are put off by his bad language – but it doesn’t bother me (who can and often does, swear for England. Not that I’m proud of it – just sayin’).
He is a former protégé of Jim Rohn who I’ve also read and listened to, who in turn oft quoted the Napoleon Hill classic Think and Grow Rich. Robbins is a distilled version of his predecessors, but genuinely does want to help people fulfill their potential.
It’s equivalent to “What would you do if you Won the Lottery?”, a question that provokes the start of a daydream to a happy place, before reality jolts you back into the present. But instead of a lottery win, this is something we’re told by Tony, we can make a reality if we change our mindset.
Many people in mid life want a change of direction.
Once success in one’s chosen career has been reached or the kids are becoming more self sufficient, there’s time to breathe and say “Now What?”
Recently, I’ve been on (yet another) chapter of self discovery and another version of this question cropped up –
What would my purpose be, if I knew no one would judge me?*
Hmmm, this is more like it. This is a very pertinent question and gets to the heart of the matter for me.
Failure can take many forms – financial being most obvious, but being judged or worse, ridiculed, and the fear of that, is probably the ultimate reason many people don’t get to where they want to be. This is certainly true in my case.
Apparently, FEAR translates as
and Failure = Quitting – if you never give up you never fail….
Many people in mid life want a change of direction. Once success in one’s chosen career has been reached or the kids are becoming more self sufficient, there’s time to breathe and say “Now What?”. There’s a thirst to start something new, start afresh. Often though, the mere fact there is choice can provoke a sense of panic. “But what to do?!”
According to Tony Robbins, fear has been superceded by anxiety in today’s World. Which to me means, taking too much notice of what other people are doing and letting that sow seeds of self doubt, instead of focusing in on your own Sense of Purpose.
Someone recently asked me what was most important to me?
I immediately replied “A Sense Of Purpose”.
Then straight away felt guilty that I didn’t say my husband and kids!! But what use would I be to them, if I didn’t have a sense of purpose?
We all remember Shirley Valentine (well, if you’re 40 something) and I’ve noooo intentions of going down THAT road thank you very much.
As a creative soul, your work is a part of you, something that comes from the heart. So it’s attached to you and it can be scary to lay it bare for judgement.
Fine when working to a brief, for someone else – if they don’t like it, it can be redone. But when the work/ idea is personal and you think it’s good – what if no one else does? Easier not to take the risk, stay safe? Or as someone said to me recently “Get used to living with the fear – it’s what makes you feel alive”.
So then, HOW to get to the point where you can identify what it is you would do if you could not fail – or if it was guaranteed you wouldn’t get laughed at?
Well, if you are stuck in a rut, career or otherwise, it might be that you don’t really know anymore. Certainly having offspring makes you less selfish, so therefore not focused on yourself – on what YOU want.
Perhaps the burning desire to do X,Y or Z is now buried under mounds of dirty laundry – literally and figuratively – or merely a distant memory that needs stoking up.
What YOU want has been put on hold, in order to cater for the needs of others. Not that this is a bad thing of course, but when the opportunity arises to reconnect with your inner creative self – it can be just a blank nothingness. However, there are things you can do.
Apparently there are 6 Questions to Help You Find Your True Self.
There are many articles founded on this principle, which seem to originate from Dr Joseph Nowinski, so let’s give him his due.
The questions are as follows:
1. WHAT DO I ABSOLUTELY LOVE?
This can be work or lifestyle related. For me it’s making things, painting, drawing – creating. I love making clothes for instance, but never do these days. Yet the odd time I have, I find myself subconsciously smiling – I love it that much!! I also feel great after exercise, running or a gym class or yoga – I LOVE being out in the countryside. But nothing gives me a bigger buzz than visualising something then making it come to life.
2. WHAT DO I CONSIDER MY GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN LIFE?
Again, this can be work related or more personal – perhaps something you’ve not thought about for a long while, but when you do, could give you the “Aha!” moment you’ve been searching for. Things that we’re proud of and are most gratifying have often taken immense work – a time when you had to delve into the depths of yourself. This is often where we learn what we are truly made of, therefore can hold the key to our future goals.
3. WHAT WOULD BE MY PURPOSE IF I KNEW NO ONE WOULD JUDGE ME?*
Hmm, see above. When watching one of Tony Robbins videos, he asked someone this question – what would you most like to do? The person replied “I don’t know”. Robbins bellowed “If your life depended on it RIGHT NOW and you had to tell me RIGHT NOW – what would you do?” The man then gave him a definitive answer straight away. So really, all this question needs is attention, a little thought and you can reach your inner creative core again.
4. IF THERE WERE NO LIMITS TO WHAT I COULD HAVE OR COULD WANT IN MY LIFE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Again, Robbins (and Jim Rohn before him) says that people too often blame the fact they are not where they want to be, on external factors; I don’t have time, money, resources etc. It’s acknowledged in many books on the subject, that most successful people become rich in their own lifetime, it’s not handed to them. Much like having a healthy, toned body or a happy life – you make it happen yourself…
According to Tony, YOU are the only resource you need, and once you know what it is that you want, and have a clear picture of it in your mind (and reinforce it visually every day), then you will find the resources you need. You’ll find a way.
5. IF I HAD ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD I DO?
Many of us sight lack of funds as a reason not to do something, but it is really that? If we desperately needed something, we could surely find a way? Robbins and many others has espoused that money is the easiest thing to come by. (This is somewhat controversial obviously.) But that we must set our minds to have a set amount, if that’s what we truly desire. It’s not use saying “I want more money” then someone gives you a fiver – you have got your wish – but that’s not exactly what you meant…
Money goals, along with our other goals and wants must be specific in order to be achieved. In this country at least, the pursuit of money can be seen as vulgar, but let’s face it – it gives you options. It’s not to say you want it all for yourself – you can also imagine how you would spend the money for the greater good.
Many self development motivators say that if you make money your focus, even by paying more attention to savings and investments (paying yourself first), you are opening yourself up to the opportunity of receiving more. You have to learn to visualise exactly what you need that money for, exactly how you will spend it, then expect it to come to you.
6. WHO DO I ADMIRE MOST?
This can be a famous person or someone you know and whose qualities you admire. By identify their strengths and methods, it can help you focus on what you need to adjust in your own life. Perhaps a different attitude can switch your perspective and produce unexpected and exciting results.
The one word that Tony Robbins and many others of his ilk use most often is HABIT. In order to make changes, we must first identify, then crystalise what it is we want. The we must take ACTION, after that, we must create new habits and practise these EVERY DAY.
And as scary as this might be, as my wise friend said:
“Get used to living with the fear – it’s what makes you feel alive”
**Also, must mention Louise Hay who passed away this week at the grand age of 90. Once described as The Queen of the New Age by The New York Times, she was the Queen of the idea that thoughts shape your life and What you Think About, You Bring About.
Granted, some of what she preached could be taken with a pinch of salt, but ultimately she was a force for good. RIP