When You’ve Hit Rock Bottom

Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom in order to appreciate life. I’ve been there. There was even a time when I almost got run over by a car and didn’t even care – as if I didn’t value my life. I was known by my friends as a worrier, an anxietist. In fact, one of my friend’s favourite sayings for me is “keep calm and carry on steph”.

And yet…

It’s in these times of darkness that we do our most necessary and inspirational, nay life-changing, thinking. You may have heard that your mind, your thoughts, control your situation and it is true. There are so many people out there who put the hardest work they can into something and don’t get anywhere with it. It is most likely because their mind was not in the right state.

So what happens when friends start slowly trickling out your life, boyfriends disappear and career opportunities seem unknown and bleak?

You go into survival mode. Your instinct kicks in.

You become honest with yourself.

Then you realise what you really want.

Because all along, you could have been holding on to these things for the wrong reasons. Change is a part of life and new things that are meant for you cannot be born if there is no room! Sometimes we have to have empty periods in life. But this kind of period can and will be such a beneficial experience if you choose to make it so.

No friends? Been dumped? Don’t have a clue about your career choices or plans? Simply bored of life?

Then a good thing that you could do for yourself could be taking a break from other people’s demands and opinions and instead using your energy to entertain yourself by being your own best friend. By discovering what makes you tick. Daydreaming, artistic activities, quieting your mind, cooking new dishes, shopping, designing outfits, writing…all require use of your imagination and will inevitably teach you more about yourself. This will in turn improve the quality of your life, as you will base future decisions upon this learning and won’t just be making wild guesses with your precious time. Sometimes the best way to use time is to take a break from trying to use it, and to get to know yourself a bit.

 

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What Every Success Book Says

I wonder if you’ve ever been in my position. The place at which…you’re looking for an answer. You know you’ve been given a life to live, and you know you want to make use of it  to do something meaningful and spectacular. You just don’t quite know what to do! What’s the secret to being successful?

It’s easy to feel inspired. It’s also easy to know that deep down, you have the potential to create, be or do whatever you like. And yet how do you do it? Energy runs out. Plans collide. Life gets in the way. Some days you don’t feel inspired. And so on.

Many people rifle through books on motivation, achieving success, and getting the life of their dreams. From my experience, I remember I would always feel excited and inspired midway through a book until the last page and then, after a few weeks, it would be as if I had never read the book at all. So then, with a view to discovering a better “secret” – and promising to myself that everything would change from then on – I would search for and be lulled into reading yet another book that promised instant success.

It was only after a few years of reading these books that I picked up on recurring patterns, ideas and themes. Essentially, every book said practically the same thing – just in different ways.

Good news is, I’ve done the hard reading work for you.

So what exactly is the formula for success that pretty much every book will prescribe to you? Let me give it to you in my own words.

Give Yourself A Map

It helps to think of your goals as a journey. Let’s say, in metaphorical terms, you’re tired of the hustle and bustle of London and want to get away somewhere nice in the car. If you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, you may end up in another city – which is not what you wanted. You may get lost, or you may change your mind – it’s human instinct for us to want to know why and how we’re doing something.

So you don’t like where your life is just now and you want it to be somewhere else. You need to turn this into something specific. You want to get from Destination A to Destination B…so you need to know where you are! Assess your life, what needs improved. Then decide specifically what you do you want. Now you know where you are and where you’re going. You have a map! Many people drift through life not knowing what they want, but knowing they want something better. Don’t let this be you. Decide what you want and know where you currently are.

So now you know where Destinations A and B are. So how do you figure out how to get there? A popular technique mentioned by many success books is backtracking. Visualize yourself in Destination B. What was the last step you took to complete the journey? What was the one before that? Then what did you have to do before that in order to have done that? And so on. You’ll find your instinct provides you with good ideas when using this technique and it doesn’t seem so overwhelming!

Start Up The Engine

You know when a car’s engine isn’t really feeling it? You know you’re not going to get anywhere fast. Just like you would regularly oil your engine, you need to juice up your desire. It’s what keeps you moving.

You need to crank up the feelings you have to attain whatever it is you have in mind. And the method that success books give is to visualize. In other words, simply daydream more. Feel the feelings of already having achieved your goal/ideal life. The more you do it, the easier these good feelings will come. Always keep your final destination in mind but don’t forget to keep visualising the path also. Because the path is the longest part of the process. The path is your life and you can learn so much from it. If you don’t fully embrace the path, you’ll never reach the destination. Let the path have it’s way for a while and do whatever you can to complete it!

Release The Breaks

I’m guessing if you were on the road to your perfect place, you’d be going at something like 30 – 50mph, not 5. You don’t have your foot pushing the brake halfway down when driving to MacDonalds in a starving rage. So don’t do it on the path to your perfect situation either.

What constitutes holding down on the brakes?

Lack of Self-Esteem

No confidence in your dream or your journey

Lack of imagination

Not fully believing or trusting in attaining the goal

Not putting in the energy or hard work

Listening to those who are negative

When Faced With An Obstacle, Swerve

Let’s say you’re driving when a chicken walks out and simply stands on the road with a mocking grin. You wouldn’t stop the car, turn round and head home. I really should have thought of something more devastating than a chicken….

No, you would simply drive around the mocking chicken and carry on down the road to Goalsville. If a road is shut, you take another.

Same story when it comes to success folks! Don’t give up. There’s always another way. Sometimes we have to travel sideways before we can go forward again. The key is to keep moving and using your imagination.

So, to summarise the basic points you’ll find in pretty much every success book:

Know where you are.

Know where you’re going.

Discover what roads to take.

Create an intense desire.

Stop half-pressing the brake.

Swerve around mocking chickens

What does this roughly equate to?

Success = Hard Work + The Mind.

But you’ll learn that, in every case (even those with a huge amount of work involved), true success is always made up mostly of the mind.

Images from weheartit.com, should they belong to you and you wish them to be removed please get in touch.

How to Achieve Success in Life by Having a First Class Perspective

Sunset Dreamer

In the January 2012 issue of Glamour there are two articles that scare the hell out of me.

The first is about a woman who was living her life as normal until one day she felt as though she was coming down with a flu of some sort. After passing out for a while she was rushed to the nearest hospital to get checked over. Turns out, she had a brain tumor – that had been undiscovered for 20 years.

The risks in surgery to remove the tumor were high. There was a real potential of losing the ability to speak or move any part of her body’s right hand side.

The second article was yet another woman, who had undetected cervical cancer for a number of years.

Both of these women were leading normal lives and woke up one day to the terrifying reality that they could die.

Reading these articles put me in such a downer. As a compulsive worrier/anxietist, it got me thinking about the vast amount of health problems in existence today, frankly any day could be the day that your life turns upside down.

I decided I would turn my mentality into that of a positive one. After all, both of these women survived to tell the tale. They are now living much more fulfilling lives than ever before.

And I had another thought.
If I had one month, a year or even a few years to live – how would I spend the time?

If you can honestly say to yourself that you would like to continue in your chosen career or job with the limited time you had left, you are on the most inspiring track of brilliance in your life.

When your work means that much to you (whether it’s because you believe in it with all your heart, or it provides good in the world, or because it fills you with joy) you put everything into it. All your creative juice, all your energy, all your passion and all your love.

You commit to constant improvement because you can’t imagine doing anything else.

When all of the above is true, you are guaranteed for success.

If I had a short time to live, would I still be writing about “how to be glamorous”? Maybe – I do think writing about such a topic inspires and empowers women to reach high in life. To squeeze everything out of it and enjoy it to the absolute max. But I would make sure to write about inspiring things, about how to achieve your dreams. To inspire women everywhere or, at least, to put a smile on somebody’s face or to make them change something for the better.

And that is why I have written you this post today. The truth is, we are all using up limited time. We don’t know how much we have left. Commit to your passion. Only do things that fill your heart, and the hearts of others, with joy.

And you’ll find that your guaranteed success will only be a bonus.

Stephanie xx

Image thanks to Sharon Pruitt.

How to Have a Successful Life – a Book or Two to Spur You Into The Process.

The book I am about to tell you of, at the time of writing, holds the second top position in the business charts. It’s a fantastic resource for kick starting self-development and this blog tells you why.

Let me start by just diving in there.

Someone who can ensure you fully understand a serious message in a lightly entertaining way, whilst inspiring you every time you turn the page, is seriously talented.

From the moment I opened Sháá Wasmund’s book I knew it was going to be a good read.

Before I was hit with any ground-breaking messages, I observed what I guess could be called a proverb about a group of monks. This was followed by an illustration of a mundane experience most Londoners are subject to every single morning without fail – a mass amount of people in a line going up three separate escalators in the tube. Some are reading, others are standing limp staring into space. It reminded me of the Trainline advert where all the sheep are moving in one direction, afraid to do anything else.

Regardless of whether we live in London, we all know how demotivating it is to feel like you’re stuck in a life pattern or job and it can severely drag you down.

So straight away, points were awarded for being able to immediately relate to the book and the glimpse of inspiration from the mini monk ancedote.

I would say the best feature of Wasmund’s book is the selection of images and phrases she uses at the start of each chapterm which vary between inspiring, amusing or both.

She skilfully humours the fact that if we don’t move off our butts and make our own desires happen we’ll probably have an average and depressing existence. And then die.

It’s such a lightheartedly written book, pleasantly easy to read and yet despite the length you know every penny spent was worthwhile.

In the interest of building a successful life – is it more beneficial to spend your tenner on a bottle of wine to drown your sorrows, or this book?

The reading path of the book is very clever. There is no content page. This works, as each part builds apon another which enables your mind to fully grasp the message Sháá wants to hammer in! There is an excellent comparison of the differences in standards and norms over time and plenty of reasons as to why the perfect time is now. Because we all know it’s reasons that get us up in the morning and its reasons that keep us going.

And this is what I liked most:

You can feel her excitement for your potential to be truly happy.

It feels personal.

My recommendation for those who want to change:

1. Read this book first to fully motivate yourself for good.

2. Whilst the inspirational & creative juices are still flowing, quickly move on to get stuck into Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles for a step-by-step walkthrough of the practical process on driving your life to a place far beyond what you thought possible.

Altogether it will be the best £24.98 you will ever spend.

An unbeatable combination.

Buy your copy of Stop Talking, Start Doing here.

Visit Shaa’s website here.

If you’d like to hear about more books I love, tell me! I’m also willing to give away a fresh copy Shaa’s book. If you’d like it, comment below with a line stating if this blog has helped or inspired you to improve your life and if so, why.

Stephanie xx

Achieve Success In Life – By Being That Person Who You Wish You Were

Have you ever felt as if every day that passes by is one day closer to when you’ll finally be that person you’ve always hoped to become? Do you feel almost as if that person is standing before you in the distance of time, waiting for you to be them…to join them…in living life how you have always dreamed it could be?

Maybe in your mind you have a private list of qualities that an ideal version of you would have or be.

You see, we all have images in our head of who we – eventually, but ideally ASAP – want to become.

And there lies the problem.

If you’ve ever heard of a man called Brian Tracey, you’ll know he is what you could call a success ‘guru’ – that is, an expert on how to be successful (something we all wish we were!). He tells us that in order to become who we want to be, we need to already be them.

Let’s see what this means, and how you can use it to change your life. The crucial point is understanding that, to really acquire your new ideal persona, it is simply about using your mind.

You can spend all the money you want on gorgeous clothes, perfume, makeup and ‘glamorous’ things…but if you don’t have your mind sorted then you will never ever pull-off the glamour until you BECOME that person INSIDE by using 3 resources you can find right inside you…

You need to shake up your

1. self-ideal…

2. self-image…

3. and self-esteem!

If, like me, you vaguely knew only a little about the concept of self-esteem – I have news for you! Don’t worry, it’s about to get a whole lot clearer.

Allow me to start with the easiest first…

Self-Ideal

This is who you wish you were. Who you want to become.

If you think about every person you’ve met who you admire, who inspires you or who you simply like – and add all of the inidual qualities together to make one cocktail mix – you will have created a personality which you wish to aspire to, taking all the good parts from your experience and using it to be the new amazing you!

So pick out your favourite characteristics, make a profile and BE IT. If you don’t know how to be a certain way – learn how! Read a book, take a class, go to a seminar/lecture/workshop.

Another important thing to stimulate your Self-Ideal is to make goals. Achieve them. Make more. Achieve them too. Make bigger goals. And your Self-Ideal will grow bigger and more powerful the more you listen and refer to it.

Here’s the next thing you should know about.

Your Self-Image

This is who you think you are – it’s how you see yourself…take this example.

You walk into a bar. You avoid eye contact. You feel awkward. You feel sheepish.

Why?

You don’t think people will admire you. You feel unworthy of admiring glances.

Why?

Because you don’t see yourself as a (good-looking/charming/confident/sexy/insert-word-here) STUD/person/sex machine. Jokes..

I hear you ask…

Why should I care? Why does knowing this mean I can improve myself and my life?

The secret to being who you want to be is to be it by making your SELF-IMAGE the same as (or matching it as closely possible to) your SELF-IDEAL, by doing the same activities in the exact same way that your ideal self would. This will gradually bring the FEELINGS that your ideal self would experience, and you’ll want to do more of the same. You will BE your SELF-IDEAL.

Why waste your time any more?

Be your self-ideal. Be who you want to be.

Any more advice on how to do this?

Yes.

Self Esteem

Your SELF-ESTEEM is the final part of your 3-level system for rebooting yourself.

Your self-esteem is basically how much you love yourself, in other words do you love yourself enough to change, do you have enough self-esteem to actually get up off your ass and do this process?

It provides the energy you need to create your self-image in line with your self-ideal.

So my advice to you?

Build your self-esteem. Start showing love to yourself. Acknowledge what you want and learn to listen to yourself. Accept and love who you are, still acknowledging that you want to improve. Be glad that you want the best for yourself.

The very fact you’re reading this shows you have high self-esteem and want to make things better for yourself. Then follow the steps.

It is so simple and yet so effective, and I hope it is of help to you in your life.

I wish you the best.

Stephanie

xx

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