By Julie-ann Odell
Happiness is by far the most important thing in one’s life, because without it, nothing really has any value. Yet so many people believe that if they get the next promotion, or a bigger house, or a new car, or win the lottery that they will be content. However, happiness is really an “inside job”. When we are happy with ourselves, it is far easier to be motivated, as happiness leads to passion, and passion creates energy. Our health is better, relationships are more harmonious, careers are successful, and life heads in the right direction.
Sustaining motivation can be tough when you don’t feel so inspired. Under the best of circumstances, the modern day world has a way of blowing you off course, with “to-do lists” that can run into pages, time that never seems to be enough, and negative feelings that seem to have a way of creeping up on you.
So how do you gain inspiration and motivation to stay on track when there are elements of your life that score low on the “happy scale”, and when your self-confidence is being chipped away by doubt and fear? How can you find a way to regain hope and positivity to trust that everything is going to work out for the best and a bright future is around the corner?
It might just be time to look for a life coach! This highly successful form of talking therapy that deals with the present and the future rather than dwelling on the past has been proven to help with virtually any aspect of a person’s life – whether personal or professional. It primarily focuses on improving human potential to help people create their desired future. Is it any wonder that it is one of the fastest growing professions in the world and is experiencing exponential annual growth? It makes sense because so many people want help with finding their dream, and when they can’t find inspiration from the inside, they look for help from the outside.
As well as coaching people who want to achieve their dreams and high performers who want to increase their productivity and positivity, life coaches also work with people who have issues of self-worth. As mentors, they seek to install the awareness needed for people to change limiting beliefs. This is facilitated during coaching sessions, where the coach works with the individual to change how they see themselves and the rest of the world, so that a more positive thought process can be developed. It is the alteration of the thought process combined with the desire to change that will allow the individual to ultimately achieve their goals and live inspired, motivated lives.
A Commitment to Change
Part of what fires the demand for coaching is the fact that clients have someone, on a regular basis, that listens to them without judgment and wholeheartedly believes in their ability to achieve their goals. Research shows that being in a supportive network is incredibly empowering and helpful for staying on track with goals.
A life coach isn’t a miracle worker though, and they don’t have a magic potion that comes in a bottle. To a great extent the success of a life coach is highly dependent on the client’s commitment to wanting positive change in their lives and their realization that this takes time, discipline, effort and a budget.
Get Started on Your Own
Hiring a life coach be pricey. For maximum effect, a coaching engagement can last for a year or more, so it requires a lot of commitment, time and money. So what options do you have, if you aren’t in a position to hire a life coach but want to change your life from uninspired to inspired?
The following is a list of tried and true steps I have found these steps to be successful in my own life and that of my coaching clients.
Ten Steps to Improve Your Life
- Know your values. It is important to know and understand your values, as this will help you lay the foundation for motivating yourself to reach your goals and ultimate success. Make a list and then take actions that are in alignment with your values. Ask yourself: What is really important in my life, and who is the person I want to become? Click the link at the end of the article for an online test determining values.
- Condition your mind. Train yourself to think positive thoughts. When you find yourself thinking negatively, send the thought away and replace it with a positive affirmation. Keep doing this until a new, positive neuron pathway is fired and the old negative one fades away.
- Mix with positive people. Do your best to keep away from negative people as they will drain your energy, waste your time, and demotivate you. Seek out people who are inspiring and motivated, as their positive energy will rub off on you and you can imitate their success strategies.
- Make a list of your goals. Once you’ve established that you need to make changes in your life, the next step is making a list to identify which areas to target: career, health, romance, finances, etc. Write your list by hand with a pen, as studies show that when we connect the letters manually, we engage the brain more actively in the process.
- Prioritize and break goals down. If you try to do everything at once, you’re going to get overwhelmed. So it is important to prioritize goals and break them down into small, realistic steps. This helps focus concentration and inspires similar behavior.
- Visualize your goals. See it, feel it, hear it. Top performing athletes actually visualize their performance ahead of time — right down to the sensation of the sweat on their face as they cross the finish line. Imagining clearly defined goals help you take your dreams and turn them into reality, so dream big and often.
- Deal with demotivation. At some point along the way, whether because of temporary setbacks or lack of energy and initiative, you will need a little boost, so work out what this can be from the get go. Winston Churchill is particularly inspirational on this front. During World War II,he was invited to address a group of students. In that speech, he uttered his immortal line “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up.” So do the same!
- Continually check in with yourself. In the ebb and tide of life, there are going to be times when you are criticized, and this can be hard to deal with sometimes. Work on really grounding yourself intrinsically with your values and your goals and learn to not take things personally. Remember to pull back from time to time, connect within and listen to the beat of your own drum.
- Ask yourself powerful questions. Inspiration is all about having a big enough reason for doing something. If you have a big enough why, you can always find the motivation that comes from asking yourself how to accomplish it. So “if not you, then who?” and “if not now, then when?”
- Give yourself recognition. Remember to acknowledge your successes. Neuroscience tells us that each small success triggers the brain’s reward center and releases the feel-good chemical dopamine. Recognition is one of the most powerful motivators there is, so every day give yourself a pat on the back for the effort you are making to improve yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others. Be grateful for what you have, and on a daily basis celebrate what you love about yourself.
Julie-ann Odell is a certified Life Coach, Business Coach, Leadership Coach and Relationship Coach. She has been coaching for the past 15 years and divides her time between her clients in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Email: [email protected] or WhatsApp +971-50-6592874.
Determine your values today: