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Episode 104: Purpose Case Studies

These case studies present a more organic approach to finding your purpose – an alternative to the method described in episode 102.

Today I want to continue the conversation about purpose. I would like to invite you to do some deep thinking work about what matters to you, where you come from, what your journey has been and why you do what you do.

I talked about purpose in episode 102 and walked through a process for discovering your purpose. 

Perhaps you will see yourself in this journey. Perhaps you will be clearer by the end of this episode about what is most important to you and what your contribution to the world really is.

The first thing that I want to say is that unless you already know what you want to do and are clear on that, a big part of discovering your purpose is discovering yourself. It’s a process of self-awareness and self reflection. 

So if you want to get really clear on your purpose, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about where you’ve come from, what you’ve achieved, what you love to do and what’s most important to you.

Here are a few examples of how that could play out.

The first story is about someone who is super good at organising and planning. This person was trying to figure out her purpose and her niche. 

What she has come from is a life of needing to help out in the family and get siblings and family members organised. She’s come from a place of needing to be self-sufficient with her schooling and study. So organisation is a natural strength and skill that she has.

Through a process of being organised, this person has been able to juggle work and study, family commitments, and to start up and run a business. People come to her when they’re stuck and not sure where to turn, she helps him to get clarity and to make a plan to start taking action – normally starting with getting organised first.

What she loves to do is see the relief on people‘s faces when they get stuff sorted out. And what’s most important to her is having a great routine for her own self care and well-being – in other words being self organised – so that she can show up with energy, confidence, and a sense of calmness.

Example number two is somebody who comes from a public service background, and who has had a lot to do with project management. She comes from a very formal work environment, working for the government, and is very familiar with the policies and procedures.

She was recognised among her peers as one of the best project managers in the division, largely because of her great attention to detail and love of doing things properly and finishing things in a high-quality way. She loved doing that type of work but not necessarily the role that she was in. 

She wanted to start her own business because that’s what she loved – the creativity of building a business and the control that she could have by owning the business rather than working for someone else.

So her purpose is to bring that detailed focus, high-quality and finishing aspects to helping people get their business admin sorted out in a really professional and structured way.  She does tasks for you as a VA and holds you accountable to getting your stuff delivered so she can do her job of making you look really good.

If you want to get really clear on your purpose, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about where you’ve come from, what you’ve achieved, what you love to do and what’s most important to you.

Example number three is somebody who really values spirituality and connection, is very honest and values driven, and comes from a religious background.

She’s become known in her community as a connector as an empathetic listener, and has a wonderful support.

She loves maintaining a spiritual practice of her own and she loves helping others to do the same. What’s important to her is creating peace and calm in the world and a sense of connection with people supporting each other.

So it’s really clear that her purpose is to coach people in groups around their spiritual practice and the impact that they can have on others by being in a place of calmness, self-care and resilience.

Example number four is somebody who has lost over 50 kg. She has had a journey with food, her body and her emotions over many years and has struggled with her weight. 

She has been through cycles of weight loss and then re-gain, and finally realised that her secret to moving forward into a permanent healthy weight situation was simply to manage her mindset – in other words her thoughts and beliefs about herself and food.

What’s important to her is family, relationships, creativity, freedom of expression. Food and weight and her challenges with mindset was stifling those things for her.

What she loves to do is help other women who are busy, ambitious and overcommitted, to do less, be more organised, reduce stress, and find healthy ways to manage their emotions.

Her purpose is to help women to stop over eating and to start living their lives so that they can show up for their loved ones in a really present connected way.

Example number five is somebody who has always loved cooking, even as a little kid. She was always creatively experimenting with food, trying out new ideas. She also spent many years battling low-grade health issues and anxiety. She realised that her gut health was an issue and that she was feeling sluggish and tired because she wasn’t always making healthy choices or cooking the healthiest food.

She experienced a significant improvement in her health by following a plant based diet. And as a result of this and her love of cooking she realised that she loves interacting with people and helping them to avoid chronic disease and take control of their health by eating more plants.

What’s important to her as a value is health, and also spirituality. She regularly meditates and practices yoga and this fits really well with her beliefs about food and health in a holistic sense.

She feels passionate about helping people realise that a disease diagnosis is not a life sentence, and that they can make significant improvements simply by eating more plants more often.

So she feels that her purpose is to educate people about healthy eating, and to coach them around adopting lifestyle habits that will help them to feel more connected to themselves, but also to nip any looming health issues in the bud.

As I work through these examples I realise that I have many hundreds of stories like this. Of people who have figured out their own journey, their own values, what lights them up and what’s important to them in the world.

The stories are shortened and simplified. They don’t reflect the many years of searching or wondering what they’re here for.

What I can say is that if you zoom out from your life and you look at the major highlights, the struggles, and the lowlights, you might see some things that help you to get closer to defining what your purpose is.

Ready to find your purpose?

Finding a way to use your strengths to do something you love can be a life changing! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 86: The Central Governor Theory

As we enter the so-called third phase of isolation, what can we learn from Dr Tim Noake’s Central Governor Theory to help us cope better and go the distance?

I was reading an article on the ABC news, where they were talking about the stages of isolation, and that we are entering the third stage of isolation right now.

A pile of studies have been conducted Into the mental health of people who live in Antarctica and in other isolated areas such as submarines and polar bunkers and they’ve worked out what happens when these people are in isolation. 

Apparently in the beginning when you are isolated there is this period of anxiety and confusion – which we on dry land but in isolation, have seen as ‘panic buying.’

It’s followed by the second phase they call the ‘honeymoon period’- a stage where we settle into a routine that feels a bit novel and different. 

For example, you may revel in the opportunity to work in your pyjamas and not battle morning traffic and it feels good, a little bit special.

The ABC article says we are entering a third quarter of “hollow-eyed stares, odd fixations and brooding resentment. Where time grows sludgy, day blurs into night, and weekdays into weekends as you start to become lonely and to feel more offended and a bit desperate.”

In psychological studies of extreme confinement it’s called the third quarter phenomenon and apparently it’s where we may see a rise of emotional outburst, aggression and rowdy behaviour, as we anticipate the end of isolation but it does not come. 

As the article rolled on, I could see the parallels with a phenomenon called the central governor theory – described in 1997 by Dr Tim Noakes, an emeritus professor in the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town.

The Central Governor Theory

The theory applies to exercise but I believe our brains could be operating under the same model right now, while we are in isolation.

Here’s how it works. The premise of the model is that your brain will override your physical ability to run and “shut the body down” before you’re able to do serious or permanent damage to yourself.

And I would like to explain how this works in the context of running, then you will see how it also works and applies to the context of regular life.

CGT in Running

Runnersconnect.net describes CGT really well so I will quote them directly here:

“At around mile 8 of a marathon, the race pace becomes difficult and the thought of running further seems impossible even for just a minute. Yet within a few hundred metres of the finish line, you are somehow able to summon a kick that finds you running minutes per mile faster than goal pace.

Once your brain realises it won’t die if you pick up the pace, the biological pathways open up so you can run faster.

That’s not to say that the physiological demands of a race aren’t real. Rather, the central governor theory posits that racing is a balance between: 

(1) physical preparation and biological systems; 

(2) emotional components, such as motivation and pain tolerance; 

(3) and self-preservation. 

The exact combination of these factors is what leads to how hard you’re able to push during a race.

I love the way they describe the central governor theory in running and break it down into those three elements – which you can see are totally applicable to our lives right now.

CGT in Isolation

The parallels with the so-called third stage of isolation seems to tie in with that 8 mile mark of a marathon.

We knew isolation was coming so we went through some physical preparation.

We may see a rise of emotional outburst, aggression and rowdy behaviour, as we anticipate the end of isolation but it does not come. 

Now we are needing to manage the emotional components, like motivation and tolerance.

We anticipate the end but it seems so far away, it’s uncertain, and we can’t judge how long there is to go. As a result, we feel stuck, flat, in pain and unable to cope for just another minute.

We also have the element of self preservation, where we want to protect ourselves from harm, and also to manage our own expectations and avoid disappointment. We are trying to temper both our enthusiasm and our frustration as we await the lifting of restrictions.

But when we have a date around when the restrictions will be lifted, and what that entails, we will feel safe and confident about moving forward enthusiastically to that finish line.

I think the question here is not so much ‘when will this all end’ – because that keeps us in a lost, stuck and catatonic state.

The question is really – ‘how can we move through the current pain and uncertainty, and just keep running?’

Tricking Your Brain

It’s clear to me that the central governor theory applies as much to life as it does to running. 

Maybe we can discover a solution from the runner’s world.

The problem that many runners face on race day is that they try to push themselves beyond their comfort zone when their mind is telling them that they can’t go any faster.

Here are three techniques that runners use, and how we can apply them to our own brains in the context of isolation.

1. Workouts

In the running world, regular workouts don’t normally train you to give it your all at the end of a session, but you can integrate bursts of energy that push through the barriers at the end.

In an isolation context, we can persist with our daily lives without holding back, and continue to do what we can, when we can, without falling into fear. 

The next two steps will help you with that!

2. Mental training

In the racing world, they say that no matter how well rested or prepared the body is, racing hurts, so you need to prepare for that mentally so that your brain doesn’t override your physical abilities at the end.

In an isolation context, the same applies. Be prepared for it to be challenging at times, but remember that our bodies and brains are wired to push through challenges and succeed. 

Recall a time when you have felt this way, and visualize yourself pushing through that moment. Remember what it felt like to push through the challenges and how it felt to make it to the other side.

This will help you to deal with any difficult times in the months ahead.

3. Pacing

In the racing world, there is a focus on improving your sense of pace, because pacing is one of the ways the brain self-regulates the central governor. 

That is, your brain “anticipates” all the known variables of a race and calculates an optimal pace that will get you to the finish without dying.

If the path deviates from what you anticipate, that is, if you try to go faster on race day, the brain reacts by forcing you to slow down. 

In an isolation context, you also need to pace yourself and in this case, it is difficult to anticipate the end without information about what it will be like and when it will occur.

However, you can anticipate how you will operate based on what you know right now.

It may help you to focus on smaller, more immediate periods of time, such as next week, so that your brain has something concrete to anticipate.

Summary

The central governor theory, first proposed by Dr Tim Noakes in 1997, describes how our brain tries to protect our body when things don’t go as we anticipate them.

You can anticipate how you will operate based on what you know right now.

In the context of social isolation during the current period of self-isolation, our brains are doing the same thing.

We can learn from what marathon runners do to outwit their brains, and stay strong until the finish, with a burst of energy as the finish line approaches.

If you need help to manage your emotions at this trying time, contact me on https://melaniejwhite.com/

Ready to cope better?

You can train your brain to better manage your emotions. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 62: Intuitive Eating 101

You might have heard recently about intuitive eating. If you’re wondering what it is and what the benefits are, stay tuned, because that’s what this episode is all about.

Before you listen to this, I recommend you listen to the previous episode #61, where I discussed Body Intelligence or BQ.

Intuitive eating is a type of Body Awareness, which is the first pillar of BQ (body intelligence).

Intuitive eating is a concept that was developed by Evelyn Tribole, a dietician and counsellor, and Elyse Resche, a nutritionist.

They define intuitive eating as:

“a personal process of honoring health by listening and responding to the direct messages of the body in order to meet your physical and psychological needs.”

It is a self-care eating framework, which integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought, and the authors of this approach call it ‘weight neutral’. 

The idea is to trust and use your inner signals, both mental and physical, as a guide for what to eat, how much to eat, and when.

I wanted to speak about this because it’s so close to my heart and it’s a big part of the Metabolic Typing process that I was trained in and use with many hundreds of my clients.

An End to Dieting Mentality

Intuitive Eating proposes an end to the dieting mentality – but what does this actually mean?

I had a bit of internal conflict around the idea of dieting and not dieting for some time, and after some reflection I got clear on my position around this.

Firstly, I believe that there are circumstances where it makes sense for some people to follow specific diets.

Here are some examples of this:

  1. Many overweight people have fatty liver and dysregulated insulin. In this case, a short period of low carb eating might be required to regain insulin sensitivity and to get rid of cravings sooner.
  2. Some people develop temporary intolerances to certain foods – and this can happen in periods of intense stress or if you eat too much of a certain food, or if your immune system is triggered – so in this case it makes sense to follow a low-stress diet for a short period to allow the body to recover from its inflammatory/reactive state.
  3. People with gut health issues might need to temporarily or permanently be on a specific ‘diet’, such as a FODMAPS diet, or a high fibre diet or a diet for Crohn’s or celiac disease, for example.
  4. People with a chronic lifestyle disease may need to follow a specific type of diet to manage their symptoms or condition, such as diabetes, heart disease etc.

The idea is to trust and use your inner signals, both mental and physical, as a guide for what to eat, how much to eat, and when.

What I’m saying is this – in certain situations, some people DO need to have a certain mentality around what they do or don’t eat, because it may affect their wellbeing.

That aside, if we look at what the word diet means, it’s simply the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.

So to be clear, what we’re talking about with Intuitive Eating is that we are aiming to stop being obsessed by food and eating habits, to stop unnecessarily restricting ourselves, and to stop having negative or harmful thoughts around food or our bodies.

The 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating

Let’s explore the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating.

1. Reject the diet mentality

This principle is about ignoring the quick fix marketing and solutions we are sold, and the promise that the next diet will work and solve all your problems.

The truth is, when we rely on someone else for the answer, we give them our power. And in actual fact, your body is designed to give you all the signals you need to eat  in a way that nourishes and supports good health. It’s our in-built survival mechanism

2. Honour your hunger

Leading on from the first point, we must learn to recognise true hunger and to give your body enough of the right kinds of food.  

Our bodies use carbs and fat for fuel, and can also use protein if the other fuel sources are not available. We need to trust that our bodies will tell us when we are truly hungry and give them a balanced die.

3. Make peace with food

Food is not a reward or a punishment. Restricting is a sure fire recipe for creating guilt, binges and uncontrollable cravings. 

It’s important that we allow ourselves to eat healthily in a way that supports our bodies and minds and to use self-compassion when we feel urges.

4. Challenge the food police

There is no good or bad food. There is no forbidden food or treat food. There is no need to do calorie accounting. Applying these labels and this intense scrutiny creates guilt, judgement and self-loathing.

In actual fact, there is just food, and it is a fuel. Thinking this way about food, without any labels can help you to make peace and eliminate the negative thoughts and feelings about it.

5. Respect your fullness

Our bodies tell us when we’ve had enough to eat. When we make the time and space to notice these signals, we will naturally stop eating.

Mindfulness is a tool that can help us observe this simple and powerful signal.

6. Discover the satisfaction factor

Rather than busily scoffing our meal or feeling wanting for something else, we can enjoy eating and feel satisfied with our eating by simply paying attention to our food and the experience of eating it.

When you truly experience the process of eating – the texture, colours, flavours and smells – then it’s much easier to feel satisfied.

7. Honour your feelings without using food

Some of us have been conditioned to reach for food when we’re anxious, lonely, bored, stressed, angry or sad.  

But food won’t solve the problem and may make things words, by throwing feelings of guilt into the mix. 

There are healthier ways to manage your mind and your emotions and you can use those processes to replace food and honour your feelings, so that you can sit with them and let them go in a healthy way.

8. Respect your body

A lot of people think that a healthy body must look a certain way. The reality is, as I learned in my Metabolic Typing qualification, we are all different sizes and shapes and, we are biochemically unique on the inside.

Our physical bodies are adapted to different climates – cold climates, mountainous climates, hot climates.

Our biochemistry is adapted to the available food sources that are in those local environments. 

Respecting your body starts with recognising that your natural shape and size gives you unique strengths and skills, and by fueling your body with the right foods for YOUR body type.

9. Exercise and feel the difference

Further to this, each person does best with a different type of exercise. Your physiology gives clues as to which exercise might work better for you – but also consider your levels of stress, your stage of life and what you like to do.

If you’re only exercising to lose weight then you’re missing out on a wealth of other benefits like stress management, endorphins, strength, flexibility, agility, stamina and mobility.

Look for other motivators or goals around exercise and you’ll quickly learn to love it. 

10. Honour your health

Finally, nobody has a perfect diet. One meal won’t throw your entire life off track. Rather, choose foods that help your body to feel strong, clear, capable and well.

If you choose foods that create these feelings most of the time, it will make healthy eating so much easier, and you’ll be able to turn it into a habit that you love.

Summary

To wrap things up, you can see that the principles of intuitive eating are about body awareness, body knowledge and then body engagement – they are intrinsically tied with the principles of BQ, as discussed in episode 60 of this podcast.

Choose foods that help your body to feel strong, clear, capable and well.

The skills and tools that help you become an intuitive eating are mindfulness, thought watching and thought change modelling.

Changing your relationship with food is about more than just making a plan and doing it – it also means unravelling your old mental patterns and beliefs so that you can let go of past behaviours, and start taking positive actions in the right direction.

For assistance with intuitive eating, visit melaniejwhite.com/contact page.

Ready to learn more about intuitive eating?

Changing your relationship with food can be the start of a whole new relationship with yourself. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 60: Mind Seeding

A simple practice to help you become your future self that’s quick, easy and painless.

This episode is for you if you want to change your beliefs and become your future self, you will probably need some help to step outside your current paradigms.

If you listened to episode 59 of this podcast you will probably understand what I’m talking about. 

To recap briefly, most of us have entrenched habits – both thinking and doing habits – that happen automatically, unconsciously. And as you can imagine, those entrenched, automatic habits can be very hard to see, let alone to change.

When you achieve this clarity and awareness, there is one more thing to navigate – the fact that your brain is naturally wired to find evidence to support your current beliefs rather than your future beliefs.

In other words, if you want to become your future self, you need to uncover the hidden beliefs and then, convince yourself that behaving differently is a good idea.

As you can see there’s a little bit to navigate in order to become a better and more powerful version of you! 

To summarise, becoming your future self involves three things:

  1. Uncovering your unconscious beliefs about yourself that shape who you are
  2. Challenging and changing those beliefs and
  3. Being consistent with this until you start thinking and acting differently.

Most of us don’t have the time or space to do this in our lives.

You’re busy with your kids, making lunches, getting them to school and then yourself off to work.

Most of us are lucky to snatch 5 minutes to ourselves, so it can be really difficult to cut out all the noise and stress of modern life and to start changing our thinking and doing patterns.

That’s why I want to walk you through a simple process to help you move more quickly toward your future self. 

I call it MIND SEEDING.

I highly recommend listening to episode first 59 FIRST so this all makes more sense.

Mind Seeding

I find it so fascinating that we are able to run so much of our lives on autopilot – around 90% of what we do, in fact.

So if you think about it, our thoughts and beliefs are the instruction manual that we automatically follow each day to get things done.

It leverages off the fact that we run on autopilot and that our brains are highly suggestible.

I propose that we can use this to our advantage, and ‘seed’ our minds with the thoughts of our future self.

Want to give it a go?

Mind Seeding 101

There are so many things in life I struggle to remember, but for some reason I can easily sing the jingle from the 1981 Swatch watch commercial.

Can you relate?

This is a great illustration of the first part of mind seeding – telling yourself something short and simple, repeatedly, will cause it to stick in your head.

And as you know, if you listen to my podcast regularly, the things that you say to yourself repeatedly become your beliefs.

Here are two simple examples from my own life.

When plastic debit banking cards arrived in Australia in the 80’s (yes, I’m that old!), I realised how easy it was to start spending money. And like any normal teenager, I had started spending with my new card!

Yet I wanted my future self to be a proactive saver and accumulating wealth, rather than debt. I needed to find a way to do this.

As a measure to curb spending, I started to tell myself that I if I didn’t have cash in my purse, then I didn’t have any money.

It’s amazing how this halted my spending. I would withdraw $20 each week and this was my spending money and once it was gone, it was gone.

By the time I was 15, I had saved $1,000 and had put it into a term deposit. This one simple mind seed got me closer to my goal and up to Level 3 in my Four Levels of Money.

A year later, I was struggling with anxiety and insomnia as exams and the question of my future became more pressing.

When you are feeling stressed or a sense of lack, it’s moving away from your future self. 

I had started working a casual job in an aquarium shop, and they had a coffee machine there. It was a machine that turned instant coffee into a hot milky drink, not like the fancy barista models we get today. 

I had never really been a coffee drinker, but that machine was a lure and I found myself drinking 2 – 3 coffees on my Saturday shift. I realised that coffee had a grip on me. I found myself looking forward to the shift so I could drink coffee, and then feeling wired and jittery after it. But it felt SOO good to drink coffee.

Within a few weeks I realised that coffee was bad for me at that stage of life and I decided I wanted to stop drinking it. It was making my anxiety worse and disrupting my sleep on the day or days that I drank it.

So I seeded my mind with the concept that “I don’t want coffee to control me!”

Thinking that way about coffee was really assertive and positive for me because it spoke to me about what I wanted, not what I was missing out on. This really helped me to be disciplined with a simple habit and it made a huge difference to my state of mind.

Notice that in both examples, I was seeding my mind with thoughts that felt strong and powerful, rather than judgemental or fearful. 

This is the key to getting your new seed thoughts right.

So right now, think about ONE activity that your future self is doing or not doing, for example, not drinking coffee, or not drinking alcohol, or exercising regularly, or speaking in front of people – and create a powerful, positive statement about it.

This is one of your mind seeds that will grow into a habit that aligns with your values.

Step 2

The second part of mind seeding is to open yourself up to new ideas and opportunities. 

Think about it – it’s easy to get so caught up in life that you forget who you are and what you want to achieve; you can lose focus on your goals and clarity on your vision.

You can fall into a scarcity mentality and get lost in it.

This can cause you to lapse into negative thinking, and to lose focus and hope.

And when you are feeling stressed or a sense of lack, it’s moving away from your future self.

You can reverse things by putting a wedge in place to get your inspiration back and reinvigorate some creative thinking.

Here are some ways of doing that.

  1. Read a book on a topic you’re interested in, whether it’s related to your business, industry or a personal goal. 
  2. Take a free online course into an area of interest and learn something new.
  3. Take up a hobby that engages you and gives you a sense of flow.
  4. Block out a whole weekend with no responsibilities or commitments, to just meander and do what you want and need.
  5. Do something that will give you a quick win and is easy to do without any brain strain – like an exercise session, or cleaning out a drawer.

Seed your mind with thoughts that felt strong and powerful, rather than judgemental or fearful. 

Any of these can be enough to give you a brain break and switch things around to get your ideas flowing again.

I find that when I am feeling low, flat or defeated, I am instantly revived and excited again by listening to something inspirational or something that creates awe, curiosity or a sense of achievement.

This is positive psychology in action.

Ready to change your beliefs and become your future self?

Step outside your current paradigm and find out who you can be! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 52: Nine Benefits of Thought Modelling

Today I want to talk about the benefits of thought models, which are so important for  coaches to use both with their clients as well as in their personal practice. 

What is a thought model?

Let’s step back for a moment to see that a lot of time in our lives is spent in our own mind. We spend time thinking about ourselves and our problems, catastrophising things, judging ourselves, worrying what other people think of us. Feeling confused, scared, overwhelmed.

All of that stuff is related to what you are thinking.

For many years I thought that was just the way things were, and that I had to live with it. What I did was try to escape those uncomfortable feelings by doing varying things. And that’s what a lot of people do, turn to over exercising, drinking, drugs, over eating, over working… all sorts of things to escape those uncomfortable feelings. But the consequences of those things are far worse than dealing with the feelings.

So knowing that we all have uncomfortable feelings, what can we do about them?

There are a variety of models, but the principle is this: at any given moment you have an uncomfortable emotional thought that makes you feel a certain way and the goal of using a model is to pull back from the emotion and to look at things objectively so that you can problem solve them.

For example, let’s say you sent a text message to someone and they didn’t reply. At first you think, maybe they were busy. Then and hour later your are wondering why they haven’t got back to you, maybe they don’t like you, and you somehow invest time and energy to create a story around something where you don’t know the answer.

The point of using a thought model is to pull away from that and look at the facts. When you zoom out and look at the big picture, it calms down your brain and makes it easier to let go.

What we are trying to do is turn from catastrophising into factualising. The models are a tool to take that highly emotive thought or feeling and to bring it down to the simple facts.

So instead of thinking “that person didn’t reply to my text message and they are really rude and don’t like me”, you look at the facts: you sent a text message and they didn’t reply.

You see how different that feels?

It’s easy to get wound up about it and it gets in the way of you doing other more fun and important things in your life. The point of using a thought model is to look at things more clearly so you don’t have that intense emotional feeling around it and you can let it go more easily.

It’s about switching off that automatic, compulsive, emotional reaction and becoming a bit calmer about things.

It’s the little things that you do every day that allow you to create a bigger outcome. For me, the bigger outcome of thought modelling is that any of life’s circumstances have become way easier for me to deal with – I spend way less time in my head, feeling uncomfortable, and I have way less anxiety. This is all because I have been doing this maintenance activity of thought modelling.

9 Benefits of thought modelling

  1. Dial down intensity off emotion – instead of turning everything into a catastrophe you can dial down the intensity of the emotion.
  2. Get unstuck – when something goes over and over in your head that stops you from doing something else, or a fear that you have – that’s being stuck. Using thought models can help you get unstuck.
  3. Rewrite thought patterns – rewiring your mental habits so you don’t go down the negative self-critical spiral.
  4. Maintain mental well-being – instead of those huge roller coasters you can level things out by talking to yourself factually about everything. You maintain a sense of calm and peace and level head space.
  5. Take action toward goals – instead of being bogged down with negative though patterns, you can persist until results happen. Thought modelling is so powerful when it comes to helping you take consistent action towards the result.
  6. Better perspective and less judgement – by stripping things back to the facts you have a healthier perspective, you see both sides of the coin, you can be more objective and therefore less judgemental.
  7. Feel calmer and more balanced – you train your brain to see the good and the peaceful, rather than what’s not working, and the fear and the pain which create that fight or flight response in the body and keep you in a state of stress.
  8. Change beliefs  – when you say something more neutral and factual (and eventually more positive) to yourself repeatedly, your brain will start to embed that as a new belief.
  9. Become future self – if you want to make significant changes, you are going to have to become a different version of yourself to adopt the habits of that person that will create that different result. To do this, you’ll need to think differently, as well as act differently. If you truly want to do something different and achieve something big, thought models help you become that future self by practicing the thoughts of the new and improved version of you.

Ready to become your future self?

You may find that thought modelling will change your life. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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Episode 43: Changing Beliefs About Money

Episode 43: Changing Beliefs About Money

Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to earn more? Or do you ever wish you could find a way to earn enough money, some day, somehow?

Our society places a strong focus on money and the perceived benefits it gives us. We’ve been socialised to adopt certain beliefs and judgements about money and how much people have.

Today, I want to invite you to blow all that BS out of your paradigm so you can get on with creating the money you want.

And when I say that, I mean that how much you want and what you earn is totally, 100% up to you. Maybe you WANT to create $25K per year and that’s enough. Maybe you WANT to create $200K per year and that’s enough. Whatever your situation, the most important thing is that you feel confident and capable of creating exactly what you need, and you enjoy the experience of money regardless of how much you make.

And that’s what I want to talk about today.

I want to explore with you how to start changing your beliefs about money so you can develop a healthier relationship with money and start giving and receiving it in a balanced and healthy way.

First let’s consider what defines your experience with money, then your values around money, some examples of beliefs that might prevent you from earning more, and finally, a simple method to shift your beliefs.

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What Defines Your Experience With Money?

Have you ever wondered how some people can be thoroughly content and happy, even when they have little money? Or why others, who have all the money in the world, are stressed and miserable?

The idea that money can’t buy happiness is certainly true. But that doesn’t stop us from having a fixation about money, whether it’s how to get it, having enough, or wanting more.

I think it’s so interesting that money itself is a benign object. It’s just paper and metal, and in the examples I’ve just given you, it’s pretty clear that it’s our beliefs about money that affect the value we place on it and therefore, our experience of money and how much we create for ourselves. 

Remember that a belief is a sentence that you tell yourself repeatedly until you are convinced. So when you have a certain belief about money – and a mantra that you repeat regularly – it will shape the actions you take and the results you get.

Your beliefs are what defines your experience with money. Your beliefs are what you need to change if you want to earn more. And the beliefs you have right now are often shaped by your long-standing beliefs which are also known as values.

Values Around Spending Money

Think about that for a moment in the context of spending money – and what something is worth to you.  

Let’s say that you are in a shop and you see a shirt that you like the look of. You check the price tag and then make an instant value judgement on whether that thing is ‘worth it’ or not. If you say to yourself – “That’s too expensive” – then your feeling will be disinterested and you will walk away. The result is that you won’t buy the shirt.

What about a different belief?

What if you felt that looking good and dressing smartly could make or break your business because it affected people’s perception of you? That $100 shirt would be a no-brainer for you in that case.

And so what we are looking at here is not the cost of the item, but the perceived value attached to it.

I believe that our personal values have a strong influence on our relationship with money. For example, if community and fairness were strong values for you, you might have no hesitation in sponsoring a child in a third world country. To you, this is an important contribution that you want to make.

Or, if health and wellbeing were strong values for you, you might want to have the best dentist, the best specialist and the best doctor working with you and spend money on regular checkups with these professionals.

If wealth and security are strong values for you, you might live very frugally and work hard to earn more income.

As you can see, what we value and believe has a massive influence on how we spend money, but also, how we make it.

If you place a higher value on yourself or your work, then you will find it easier to receive money. If you find it hard to see the value in yourself or what you do, then it will feel harder to receive money.

Values Around Receiving Money 

What happens when you put yourself on the receiving end?

If someone gave you a pile of money – say a prize winning or an inheritance – how would you feel about receiving that?

What if you were given money as a salary in exchange for work that you did for an employer? How do you feel about that?

What if the money came as a result of a service you personally delivered to someone in your own business?

What if the money came from something you created, like an artwork?

As I go through this list, notice that the method of earning becomes more and more personal. Some of you might notice that you started feeling more and more squeamish as I progressed. To me, that simply illustrates that, just like spending money, receiving money has it’s own set of values and emotions.

If you place a higher value on yourself or your work, then you will find it easier to receive money. If you find it hard to see the value in yourself or what you do, then it will feel harder to receive money.

Whether or not you are aware of your thoughts and beliefs around money, you can look to your body for clues about what’s going on in your brain.

When I work with coaches around price-setting, I ask them to start with their physical reactions to money to get their pricing right.

  • If your pricing is too high, you will feel squeamish and uncomfortable; it will be VERY difficult to ask your potential customers for money and it will impact your sales process.
  • If your pricing is too low, you may feel resentful and frustrated; your attention to detail and ability to deliver value to your clients will be low and it will impact your customer experience and therefore, your sales process.

This is a really simple way to work out how you feel about giving or receiving money. The values or long-held beliefs you have strongly influence what you believe right now about money. Your values form your ‘starting position’, if you like, and then you tend to build beliefs around those values that are aligned with them. 

You may like to complete the VIA character strengths test to work out your top 5 signature strengths and reflect on how they influence your spending and earning beliefs. 

Money beliefs

A belief is simply a sentence that we have said to ourselves repeatedly. It’s something we are convinced is true.

And what you believe about money and your relationship with it is the key to unlocking wealth.

My first real experience with money beliefs was in the 90’s and naughties when I was the GM and director of an environmental consulting company. Our company paid staff slightly above market rates with plenty of time and flexibility benefits, shareholding opportunities, extra earning opportunities and a bonus system. And we had 40 staff and we completed performance reviews every six months, where staff self-rated performance and growth, and we talked about progression and salary. Out of those reviews came some very interesting conversations about money based on totally different values and belief systems. Some staff member would walk into the review every six months with a well-prepared case as to why they should be given a pay rise and they pursued that assertively. 

Some staff members flustered and anxious about their pay rises because they felt they weren’t worth that much money, and they made it mean that they would have to work harder and stay back on weekends to be good enough to earn that much money. One of them came and said they’d prefer a pay cut!

Since consulting is a leverage model, we were rewarding their ability to build teams and deliver exceptional service to clients which bought integrity, reputation and greater earning capacity to the business as a whole.

They saw it as something else.

What does that tell you about money beliefs?

Limiting Beliefs about Money

The common beliefs that hold people back from earning what they’re worth, in a job or a business include things like:

  • I’m not good enough or I’m not worth that much
  • I don’t deserve it
  • I have to work hard to earn that much money
  • I’ll have to give up my personal life for that
  • People won’t pay that
  • People will think I’m greedy
  • People will compare me with X, and they’re better than me.
  • I can’t afford it.
  • I can’t earn any more, I’m at capacity.
  • I need someone to support me financially – I can’t do it on my own.
  • It’ll raise the bar and then I’ll have to maintain that.

What results do you think those sorts of thoughts create? They keep you stuck in a lack mentality, and what I call a pattern of pursuit. You keep doing the same thing over and over again, afraid of taking a risk or challenging your beliefs. So it’s pretty hard to reach the outcome you want.

One of my favourites that I’ve heard time and again from small business owners – “Oh, I’m not doing this to make money!”

What?

I have to call that out as total BS. The reason you run a business is to earn money. Sure you want to help people but you are also aiming to earn an income, right?

Your beliefs are what defines your experience with money. Your beliefs are what you need to change if you want to earn more. 

Affirming Beliefs about Money

So what WOULD you need to believe in order to create more money?

More affirming beliefs are things like:

  • I love money
  • There are lots of ways I can make money
  • I am learning to manage money
  • Money is paid where value is offered
  • I am worth it
  • I can learn skills that will add value to what I offer
  • I am good enough
  • What I do truly helps people
  • Money is just a numbers game
  • Money makes it possible to help more people.
  • Money is not about me.

Someone I know has gone from broke to millionaire about three times in her life already.

I find it very interesting to hear her beliefs around money. I have heard her say with confidence, ‘making money is EASY.’ I have also heard her say, ‘I’m not good with managing money.’

Can you see how those two beliefs link to her results?

She is always on the move, meeting people working out how to bring her products into the world, doing research and investing in her ideas. She believes that what she is doing will help people, and that it will be easy to sell.

And so far, she has proven herself right.

Then fears set in, things go wrong and the business folds; nothing do to with what is being sold, but always about how the money is managed.

Changing Beliefs About Money

If you want to create more money, you will need to start changing your beliefs about money.

You can also look at the four levels of money and from a logical perspective, get a handle on how to tweak your personal financial situation.

Then you need to look at ALL the things you are saying to yourself and rewire those mantras.

The easiest way to do this is a three step process.

First, you can journal an experience you have around money each day.

Second, you can write down the limiting beliefs that come up around the experience.

Third, you can challenge and question those beliefs, and re-write them in a more factual way.

Writing them down by hand makes it quicker and easier for your brain to ‘see’ what you want and to plug that into the reticular activating system – your brain’s GPS.

It’s essential that you truly believe your re-written statements. Otherwise you won’t adopt them.

Doing this as a daily process will subtly shift your perspective over time and open up new opportunities to create wealth.

Just like brushing your teeth, the rewards are not immediate and obvious, but over time, they will have a massive impact on what you think, feel, act and achieve.

 

Ready to change your beliefs about money?

You too could earn as much as you want! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here: