3 keys to Move from the Shallow to Deeper Living

This is part of a new series that I am doing which is based on the theme of living a life of contrast.  The central question is: Can what seems to be distinct opposites be lived out together.  If it can, then what is the most appropriate situation to do so?  What is the best balance to strike in order for us to experience growth and maturity?

In this article, I would like to explore the question of living a shallow vs deep life.  Let’s start with defining both words.  Shallow as defined by dictionary.com is of little depth or not exhibiting, requiring or capable of serious thought.  On the other hand, deep is defined as extending far down from the top or surface or profound or penetrating in awareness or understanding. The difference is the distance from the surface.

I think that there are some scenarios where the shallow end is a good thing and in fact a smart thing to do.  For example, if you can’t swim, it is best to stick to the shallow end of the water or if you are like me with a phobia of Jaws, just stay out of the water all together😊 Another scenario is if you want to be a jack of all trade, then knowing a little or surface level of various topics is a useful talent to possess.

What about the deep then?  This pandemic has made all of us self-declared experts on virus or more specifically COVID-19.  Ok, maybe pretend experts and I can remember what my Standard 5 teacher who just happened to be named Mrs. Lam saying “Empty vessels makes the most noise.” In another words, the less we know the more the more “noise” we have to make to cover up what we truly don’t know.

Experts or people who have spend their entire lives in one subject matter, going deep is what they do, and they are passionate about it.  They are the risk takers who will take the plunge to innovate and to create something new or disruptive.  World changers are not shallow people, they are willing to take the risk to go deep because there is where the treasure is to be found.  The treasure may even seemed to be “failure” but no failure is every wasted.  We learn more from our failings than successes.  In fact, no one succeeds without failing countless times.  Not going deep is far riskier than just staying on the shallow end.

The key question is “Are you a risk taker?”

Questions along the line:

  •  “What risk are you taking?” 
  • “Are you doing it afraid?”
  • What are you sacrificing to go deeper?  There is always a trade-off, some sort of sacrifice that has to be made.

To go deeper into anything whether its in competencies, skills, relationships requires 3 keys:

  1. Risk taking.
  2. Sacrifice to go deeper.
  3. Do it afraid!

Risk Taking

Yes, it is risky to go deeper.  You are exploring the unknown.  You are learning an area that is new to you.  You are taking a risk.  Risk of failure, rejection, shame, criticism and the list goes on.  However, no matter the risk, the rewards regardless of the outcome will be depth in knowledge, experience, maturity, resilience and lessons on what to do and what not to do.  These learnings are transferable in that you can then apply in different situations and you never know when the learnings will come in handy.

Anything that requires us to get out of our comfort zone is a risk.  But staying in our comfort zone or the shallow is a risk as well.  The risk are aging without maturity, no real skills or competencies that is transferable to other areas, limited mindset and small-world-view.  The biggest risk is living your life in your own defined prison space which gets smaller with each step that you do not take a risk in.

Sacrifices

Sacrifices must be made in order for you aim for the most important instead of the now.  Sacrifices are required because we have a finite time.  We have 24 hours day, no more and no less.  What we do and achieve during those 24 days is determined with how much you are willing to sacrifice.  Sacrificing sleep, going out with friends, time with family, comfort, and the list goes on.  We have all sacrificed something along the way.  Our careers are demanding on our time which will naturally take away time from other pursuits or interest.  That’s a sacrifice.

We sacrifice instant gratification for something most important.  Parents sacrifice their own comfort so that a child can experience something better.  Sacrifice is an outflow of love.  Whether it is in relationships or with decisions that we made, it comes out of the fact that we love someone or something more than. 

People who are passionate about a certain area will sacrifice a great amount to achieve a dream.  People who love deeply will sacrifice deeply for those that they love.  In fact, when it stems from the heart, it does not seem like a sacrifice at all.  It is just love.

The question is “Is there something that you are passionate about that you are willing to sacrifice the shallow for the deep?”

Do it Afraid!

Joyce Meyer wrote a book called “Do it Afraid!” and I thought that is a great title.  That’s life isn’t it.  Fear is inevitable but what we do with that fear is a decision.  Anything new, whether it is as small as learning how to plant a vegetable, there is a tinge of fear, what if it doesn’t grow?

The first time of doing anything, we are doing it afraid.  The bigger the dream, the deeper the challenge the deeper the fear.  To do it afraid, simply means to acknowledge the fear but not letting the fear stop you from doing it anyway.

Once we have taken the first, the fear slowly goes away with each step that we take.  The more you do it afraid, the less you will be afraid until a point where you are no longer of the action.  Until of course the next challenge or the next level of depth that you want to get into.

Are there any benefits for shallowness?  I would say that there are situations where it is useful especially in the following:

  1. You can have lots of knowledge about various topics.  Great conversation starter and a conversationalist especially for parties or getting to know people.
  2. Quiz or trivial pursuit nights could be fun if you know a variety of information from sports to history.
  3. You have tried and experienced a variety of things because you like to pursue many interest. 

When is it suitable to exercise some “shallow” or on the “surface level” living?

  1. Travelling or exploring is a great example of being a place for just a short period of time.  You get to experience a little of what the culture of the country that you are living in but not the true depth of living in that country.
  2. Reading a variety of book from fiction to non-fiction of various genre.  You can gain a broad cross section of knowledge and ideas.
  3. Learn specific skills to complete a specific task.  For example, learning enough on how to change a bulb.  You don’t need to know all the intricate details of how electricity flows into the house or the complexities of how the bulb was made. You know enough to complete the task of changing the light bulb.

Hence, yes, we all live a combination of shallow and deep lives.  The balance is to know which areas we should be going deep into in order to build solid foundation and what areas are just like the icing on the cake.

Some questions to think about:

  1. What areas of life do you want to go deeper into?  Relationships or skills that would benefit if you did go deeper into.
  2. What areas of your life would be enriched if you did have depth in knowledge or experience or connections?
  3. What risk are you willing to take to go deeper into because not doing so will be more detrimental to you?
  4. What do you want to do but have stopped short because you were afraid?  What areas are you willing to do it afraid?

Let’s remember, going deep is never easy and it not a one time or occasionally action.  It requires clear intentions, consistent action, risk taking, sacrifices and above all else, to do it afraid.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.  Let’s be purposeful in our journey to live out the best version of you and of your life.  As always, please subscribe, follow, like and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose. 

You can also check out lisalamcoach podcast here.

3 Ways to live a Generously Frugal Life

Can you be both generous and frugal?

Frugal and generous, two words that are opposite and in contrast with one another.  Let’s start with their respective definitions. Frugal as defined by dictionary.com, economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing, not wasteful.  Generous is defined as liberal in giving or sharing.  Frugal would imply being tight fisted with whatever resources you have while generous would be the liberal sharing or giving resources.

Those two attributes certainly do not seem to mingle in fact pretty much like oil and water, they don’t mix.  However, could it co-exist?  Do we have to choose either one or can we have both frugal and generous together?  I would like to argue that we can and let me show you how.

Let me start with a little story.  My grandmother can be described as someone who is frugal.  She is extremely careful with how she spends her money and would promote the virtues of saving money for a rainy day.  I can understand where she is coming from as she had to live through the hard times of the World War II.  Scarcity and survival were paramount and ingrained in order to be able to survive.  My grandfather on the other hand can be described as generous.  He would generously take his grandchildren out for a fast-food meal and would give us pocket money on the side.  A little secret that we his grandchildren would know about.  He was not only generous with money but with his time and attention.  Note, he too had to live through the horrors of World war II.  And yet, the difference in their mindset.

Having grown up with these two seemingly opposite approaches to resources, what would become of us grandchildren?  Not surprisingly, we have a good mix of generous and frugal running through the family.

In today’s new trend, being frugal is promoted.  In fact, it is part of the minimalist lifestyle.  I mean to be a minimalist you do need to have a dash of frugality as you don’t want to be wasteful at the very least. 

Today if you were to search on the word frugal you would find over 64m searches on Google, ranging from tips of living frugal lives to financial independence. It is clearly something is people are thinking about and some are proudly living it out for the world to know. Frugalism is one of the path to the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement. Frugal is not longer a taboo word or a trait that is seen in the negative light.

I would suggest that there are 3 ways that you can live a live of generously frugal and they are:

  1. Be generous with others but frugal with yourself.
  2. Be generous with yourself but frugal with others.
  3. Be generous with yourself and others but frugal with your unnecessary wants.

As a starting point, I would like to share a story in the bible where Jesus observed 2 people giving, one was rich and the other a poor widow.  The rich man gave his gifts while the poor widow put in 2 very small copper coins.  Jesus said that the rich man gave out of his wealth, but the widow gave out of her poverty everything she had.  Generosity stems from giving and giving out of your heart.  Most people give out of excess or extra and that may seem generous but is it truly so?  I would like to redefine what is most valuable to us not just in terms of money but what is in fact more precious and that is time, words and attention.

I would advocate that we can be generous with ourselves and others but be frugal with our unnecessary wants.

Let’s break it down.

Have you notice a child calling out to a parent because he is so excited to show mom or dad something that he has discovered?  He is calling out their names over and over again, while the parent is saying later or is busy on the phone or pretending to be listening but distracted on the computer?  What that child wants is not money or more things, but just a simple 5 minute and dedicated attention and an encouraging word from the parent.

In fact even when we are adults, we still desire those 3 precious resources of time, attention and words, just manifested differently.  Take a quick snapshot and ask yourself:  when was the last time you gave someone dedicated time while paying full attention and words of encouragement?

Let’s explore how we can be generously frugal.

Be generous with yourself and others but frugal with your unnecessary wants. The starting point is recognizing what is truly valuable to you. There would be no argument that each of us would like to be contribute positively to the lives of others.  We all appreciate people who are generous.  The most valuable and precious resources that all has are time, which is finite, attention which is variable and encouraging words which are limitless.  We can make some feel great with those 3 precious elements, in fact, more so than any amount of money. 

I would suggest that to live a generous life is to be generous with your time, attention and words

All the things that money cannot buy.  I think that to be generous with money is sometimes the easiest thing to do especially if we are privileged to have enough. 

All the things that money cannot buy like time with your children, encouraging word or two to someone who needs it, giving your 100% attention to your child when he or she wants your attention.  That’s precious and it leaves a lasting impression.

Think about the following:

  • What areas of your life can you be generous with others on?
  • What areas of your life are you being wasteful where you could exercise a little frugality?

Being Frugal with your wants. 

We all know that there is difference between needs and wants.  We do confuse them at times but when challenges strike, we are able to prioritse what our needs are vs. wants very quickly.  A great example is during this pandemic.  Our needs are very clearly food, clothing, shelter and for some toilet paper.  Our wants are everything else that we have extras whether its food, clothing or more toilet paper.  A wardrobe full of clothes with 80% of the clothes being worn only once would be categorise as extras or excess. 

Therefore, being frugal with our wants so that we are not wasteful is a mindful practice to have.  At the heart of living a generously frugal life is knowing what to be generous with and what to be frugal with.  The start is usually to recognise what is the most valuable resource you have and want to further enrich.  Everything else you can be intentionally frugal with as its probably not a priority or important to you anyway.

I would like to suggest that there are 3 things that we should be generous with:  time, attention and kind and encouraging words.  3 things that you don’t want to be frugal with: time, attention and words.

True generosity is about giving or sharing what is most precious and that is your time, attention, and words.  How you make someone feel is worth a lot more than what item you give them.  People remember how you make them feel.

What could you be frugal with?  Broadly I would suggest anything that you don’t need or anything that you have more than one item of.  There is no need to accumulate as the sad truth is that whatever we physically accumulate here, we can’t take it with us when we die.  Yes, death is inevitable but we can choose how we live this life now.  So let’s live a generously frugal life which shows that we know what is truly precious.

For most of us and especially if you are listening to this podcast, it would be a safe to assume that you would be financially wealthy as you would have a device to be able to download and play this podcast.  Let’s not forget those who are in need.  Need here is beyond the financial but also those who are in need of your time, attention and words. 

I would like to challenge you to think about:

  1. Who can I be generous to today with my time, or attention or an encouraging word?
  2. What areas should I rein in wasteful living?

This article is dedicated to my grandparents who taught me the precious value of being generous and frugal. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life.  Let’s step into the everyday with purpose. 

As always, please subscribe, follow and share this blog with your friends.  Take care and step into the everyday with purpose and intentionality.  You can also listen to the podcast version here.

4 Ingredients to overcoming limiting belief

Overcoming Limiting Belief

This is the final part of the 5-part series around overcoming limiting belief.  The 4-ingredient recipe are to Identify, to change Mindset, to know Intentions and to build Structures.  All 4 elements are crucial and are the base ingredients for a successful journey in overcoming limiting belief.

In this article I will be covering how we can put all these 4 elements together in simple and practical ways just like a baking recipe.

If you are interested in this type of content, please subscribe to the podcast, so that you will not be missing out on any new episodes when it is becomes available.

As a quick recap on what we have covered in the past 4 articles:

  1. You need to identify and acknowledge what specific limiting beliefs you would like to overcome.
  2. Mindset:  how to change your mindset from limiting to empowering.  which consists of 3 parts:
    • Intentional retraining of your mind or thoughts.
    • Consistent application of actions
    • Determined resolved in keeping on.
  3. Know your intentions:
    • Ask and answer the why?
    • Visualise or reconceptualize empowering vs. limiting belief.
    • Align the why with the what. 
  4. Create Supporting Structures:
    • Systems and processes
    • Tools
    • Community

For the details of each ingredient, please check out the previous articles or you can listen to the podcasts by clicking here.

Let’s start baking.  Just like any baking recipe, the list of ingredients is important and so is the quantity.  A little or too much of one or more ingredient and the overall outcome maybe not turn out to be what you had expected.  Of course, this recipe does not require precise measurements, but it does require a balance approach in order for you to experience success.

The approach that you will take is dependent on your current competencies and the level of difficulty.  Just like any baking recipe, if you are a beginner, you would naturally start with the beginner version of the recipe.  Now of course you can go with the professional ultra-complicated recipe, but we also know what that is going to turn out to be if we have ever watched MasterChef.

Let’s break it down.

Current competencies.

What is your skill or competency or experience with the new empowering belief? This should also include what is your past experience with overcoming any challenges or limiting belief or changing of your perception.  Be realistic and be as honest with yourself.  Ask yourself, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your level of competency in this area.

If it is in a new area, it is ok to give yourself a rating of 1.  It is better to underestimate and sure feels great when you overachieve.

What is your experience of success in overcoming limiting belief?  Rate on the scale of 1 to 10.

If the experience has not been positive, it is ok to give it a 1 rating.  Once again, it is better to be honest so that you can take the appropriate steps to move forward.

No matter how or where you have rated yourself, you now know what you need to do.  An honest self-assessment is always a good starting point..  You now have a target to aim for.  Afterall, any rating above 1 is good progress.

The second element is the difficulty level that you are attempting.

Difficulty Level.

What is the difficulty level of the limiting belief that you are aiming to overcome?  On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate it?

Do not despair if suddenly you realise that it is hard or maybe you have taken on more than you can chew.  Take a deep breath and ask, “How can you break it down to manageable chunks?” This is part of the mindset change to overcome limiting belief.

Everything is manageable and achievable when you can break it down to smaller parts and take action on each part step by step.

Just like the baking example, you can attempt to bake a Heston Blumenthal cake but you would first have to master baking a pound cake as an example.  You start with the basic or the fundamentals and build up to the next level.

Let’s bake the Overcomer cake.

The overcome cake requires 4 key ingredients:  Identify, Mindset, Intention and Structure.  The quantity of each ingredient is now dependent on the competencies and difficulty.

The example I am going to give is the launch of this podcast.  This is how I did it:

I had to be realistic with my competency in this new realm of podcasting.  In essence I had had to rate myself 1 and as for the difficulty level, I rated it as 5 only because I didn’t really know just how difficult or easy it would be.

Overcomer Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

100% Identify

200% Mindset

100% Intention

300% Structure

Steps:

  1. Identify the limiting belief:  What is holding me back from creating a podcast?  The answer to that question was fear of no one listening which can also be translated to fear of failure.
  2. Mindset change that was required.  What is the new mindset that I want to have?  I started to change the fear-based mindset to one that says “Failure is just a learning process.  I learn more through failure than success.  In fact, Bill Gates has been quoted to say that success is a bad teacher.  I then intentionally replaced fear based thoughts with this “learning” mindset.  In fact I had to do it multiple times a day at the start.
  3. Intention.  Why am I doing it?  Why do I want to put in the time and effort to do this?  The answer was clearly aligned with my purpose.  My life purpose is to have positive impact on anyone that I connect with and in order for me to do that, one vehicle that will help me live out that purpose is through podcast.  I have now aligned my why with what.  Podcast being my what.
  4. Structure.  What is the process and tools that I would need to use to help me achieve this?
    • Ask the Questions:  there was a lot and I mean a lot for me to learn.  I had to list a series of questions that I needed to answer.  Questions such as what was podcasting, tools or equipment that you would need, what type of applications to use to record your voice and then how to use them, what podcast platforms that are available and the list goes on.
    • Find the answers to my questions.  I think that we now live in a special time where answers to almost any questions can be found on the web or YouTube, books, experts and so on.  There is no excuse for not being able to find your answers.  I did my due diligence, I read books, watched YouTube, listened to various podcasts and so on.  It took time but with each piece of information or knowledge, I felt a little bit more comfortable.  As Jim Kwik in his book Limitless states there is a confidence competency cycle.  Essentially that means that the more competency you develop, the more confident you become and you become more confident, the more competent you get as you continue to learn and practice a skill.
    • Tools to help me make it real.  Scheduling time in my calendar was critical.  Whatever you do not set time to do, you are not going to do it.  I scheduled time to read or to do research, write scripts, record and editing, uploads and publish schedules.  I also used Notion to help me track all the various elements that are involved in creating a podcast.
  5. Putting it all together which is essentially Bake it or in another words, upload and publish IT!

This is a simplified example of what I did, but I think that it will give you an idea of the thought process behind the scenes. 

If you have noticed, I did not equally weight the 4 ingredients, I had different emphasis on each ingredient, and this is dependent on what you are trying to do.  In my example, I had to spend more time overcoming my mindset of fear than having clarity on my intentions.  In fact, I had to spend the most time on structure because I had no to little knowledge of what I was embarking on which was podcasting.

Depending on what you are doing, be flexible with how you apportion your time and energy.  In fact, I would say that energy management is probably a bigger factor, at least for me anyway.  As an example, I would schedule most of my writing work during the morning as that is when my energy level is at the highest.  The afternoons are best for recording and reading and you are best judge of what timing works best for you.

One last note that I would leave you whenever you step out and do something afraid is this great quote from Theodore Roosevelt, The Man in the Arena “It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

Essentially it means that the important thing is to be in the arena, to go out there and just do it and when you do get criticism remember it only matters from people who are in the arena with you, who has battled it out, knows the hard work that goes into it and even though its not perfect or if you fail, know that it was not for nothing. In fact, I know that the people who are in the arena with you will give you the best and most helpful feedback and advice.

Overcoming limiting belief is a battle that each of us can decide to face and jump into the arena or one that not only do you raise a white flag but allow it to lock you in like a prison.

No matter where you are at in the journey of overcoming limiting belief, all the 4 ingredients are always necessary.  Just like eggs, butter, flour and sugar are essentials in most cakes recipes, the 4 ingredients of identify, mindset, intention and structure will always be required.

Let me summarise.

  1. Identify the limiting belief.  Be specific and focus.
  2. Change your mindset from limiting to empowering through thought training
  3. Know your intentions, be clear on the why. 
  4. Build a support structure just like a recipe and build it up step by step.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.  I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life. Please subscribe and set the notification so that you will know when that article is available. 

Please share the article or podcast with your friends and as always step into the everyday with purpose.

 Check out the podcast, click here.

Overcoming Limiting Belief Part 4: Structure

Build a support structure

Photo by Marlene Leppu00e4nen on Pexels.com

I am in the fourth part of a five-part series around Overcoming Limiting Belief.  In the last 3 post, I have covered 3 of the 4 elements which are required in order for you to overcome a limiting belief.  Identify, Mindset and Intention.   

In this article, I will be covering the structure which will enable and support the thought training and actions that you will need to take.  Structure is required to help undergird your intention as no action can be consistent and effective if there is nothing to hold it up or hold it together.  That is where the support structure comes into play.

As a quick recap on what we have covered in the last 3 episodes:

  1. Identify:  Know and Acknowledge the limiting belief that you want to overcome. 
  2. Mindset:  Changing your mindset from limiting to empowering which consists of intentional, consistent and determined resolved in training your thought life. 
  3. Intentions:  Know your why.  Ask and answer the why, reconceptualize and align the why with the what.

For details of each section, please listen to the previous podcasts lisalamcoach.com or check out the Start the Journey to overcoming limiting belief for more information.

Let’s focus on the structure.  To build any structure consist of:

  1. Systems: Processes and routines that leads to automation
  2. Tools:  Analog or digital
  3. Community

Let’s get into each one.

Systems or processes.

Systems or processes are fundamentals in helping you build out a plan or a framework to get you going in the right direction.  Think of a system like a recipe.  It gives you step by step instructions to help you achieve a desired outcome.  Examples of systems are routines that you build into your everyday.  For example, the system that you take to get ready for work.  You will set the alarm the night before, when the alarm rings, you get out of bed, go to the bathroom and there you will have a set of routines that you will be executing, after which you will go and make a cup of coffee and breakfast and so on.  In most probability you don’t even think about each step as they have become your morning routine. 

We have all heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.  I recently a read a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf called “Switch on your brains.” which basically states that it takes 3 cycles of the 21 days or 63 days in order for the thoughts or actions to be part of the automisation process or for it to be automatic or known as a habit. 

Therefore, in order for us to change our thought life or thought patterns, it takes consistent and continuous training and not just a short burst of activities.  The ability to sustain the actions is what systems or processes are designed to help you do.

To help us with implementing of systems or process, we have tools that will support us.

Tools

Tools are there to help you to implement the systems or process or routines.  Tools that are able to embed what you need to do into the everyday task and routine.  Establishing or creating a new habit, requires consistent application or training.  The same goes for your thought life and to overcome limiting belief.

In today’s world, there is no shortage of tools that you can use that will help you create structure and routines into your everyday.  Tools are available in the old fashion analog type that essentially consist of paper and pen. 

For example, if you want to change a limiting thought, I might write down on post it stickers and stick the empowering thought on the door of fridge or the mirror so that I am constantly being reminded of the new thought that I want to replace the limiting thought with.  Find inspirational quotes that you can use.  One of my all time favourites is from Yoda of Star Wars – “Do or Do not.  There is no try.”

Another method of establishing consistency is to set aside time to practice what you need to do.  The most popular system is the calendar.  Whether it is traditional paper and pen or digital calendaring like Outlook, it enables you to set aside the time to practice or learn new skills.  You will need reminders and a system to ensure that new practices are being worked on.  Practice makes permeance.  Intention alone is not enough; you need to have a structure or system in place to help you get there. 

Another type of tool is productivity systems such as Bullet journals, or just a simple to-do-list, and various other productivity applications such as Notion is able to help create a structure to help you establish a new routine.

The other forms of tools that you will help jumpstart the process are through reading books and attending workshops or trainings.  Learning from experts is one of the best ways to exponential gain knowledge and give you a head start.  For example, books are usually a compilation of the author’s experience and knowledge that would be worth 10 years or more of someone’s experience and expertise all summarised for you in 500 pages or less.  Knowledge is after all potential power, waiting for you to use it to experience its full power.

For example, when I wanted to overcome my limiting belief “I am not creative.” I decide to learn and undergo training around watercolour painting.  I learned from watching people who are professionals, attending courses, learning about paper quality, watercolour paint types and differences, the different brushes and techniques.  I could have tried to learn all those things by myself though trial and error but why would I waste my time when I know that someone else has already done that and I could just learn from them.  It saves time, energy, frustration and made the learning journey enjoyable.

Another critical component that will enable this process to be more efficient and enjoyable is the community that you surround yourself with.

This leads to the next aspect and its your community.

Community

A group of your tribe that can help, motive, train, coach, encourage and support you on the journey.

Each of us need help and help in the form of experts, friends, trusted advisers, mentors, coaches and so on.  We need other people to help as we learn new skills and improve our competencies and so on.  It is extremely hard and not efficient or productive use of our time and energy to try and take things on by ourselves. 

Leverage on the expertise and experience of those around you.  Do not be afraid of asking for help.  I believe that most people will be more than happy to help you learn as it is their act of service to contribute or make an impact on someone’s life.

Let me summarise what I have covered so far.

  1. Systems:  Processes and routines that will help you create a routine and over time habit.
  2. Tools:  Tools that will help you to integrate your plan into the everyday task and to learn in knowledge or know-how.
  3. Community:  Tribe that you will rely on to help, motive, train, coach, encourage, support and cheer you on through this journey.

Thank you for spending the time with me.  In the next post, I will be putting all the 4 elements or ingredients of overcoming limiting belief together in a practical and simple way so that you are able to put into practice.  Let’s imagine baking an “Overcome Limiting Belief” cake.

I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life. Please subscribe and set the notification so that you will know when that post is available.  Please share the podcast with your friends and as always step into the everyday with purpose.

        

Intentions: Overcoming Limiting Belief Part 3

To know your intentions, you will need to ask the why question.

Know your Intentions

In this blog post,  I will be covering the 2nd element of the next 3 steps to overcoming limiting belief.  The first two parts of this 5-part series on Overcoming Limiting Belief was on identifying the limiting belief that you want to overcome, and the Mindset change that needs to occur.  Click the links above to check them out.

In this post, I will be going through the next part which is Intentions.  The why.  Why do you want to change?  Why do you want to take the steps to move from limiting belief or a limiting posture to one that is empowering and growing?

As a quick recap on what we have covered in the past 2 posts:

  • Identify the specific limiting belief that you want to challenge and change.  You need to acknowledge and know what the limiting beliefs that you want to overcome.
  • MindsetChanging the mindset consists of 3 parts:
    • Intentional retraining of your mind or thoughts.
    • Consistent training of your thoughts
    • Determined resolved in keeping on.

Let’s start.  The focus now is on intentions and how that will lead to meaning actions.  There are 3 steps that you will need to do:

  1. Ask and answer the why
  2. Visualise or reconceptualize what it would be like if you did not have this limiting belief. 
  3. Align the why with the what.  Aligning your intentions with the actions or steps that you need to take.

Let’s break each of the 3 parts down.

Ask and Answer the WHY

Start with uncovering the reason or reasons for change.  To do that, it is through asking why.  Simon Sinek’s in his book “Start with Why” talks about knowing the purpose or intention of why you are doing what you are doing.  The clearer and deeper your intentions, the deeper and more meaningful the reasons, the more committed you are to the doing.  Let us start with asking: Why do you want to overcome this specific limiting belief? You might have to ask yourself many why questions before you are able to get to the heart of the intention.  You need to have clarity and be specific.   Write them down. 

For example, the limiting belief that you want to overcome is the “I am not good at public speaking”.  Write down all the reason why you want to overcome it as well as what is holding you back.  It could be because of career advancement, business growth and opportunities, it is holding you back from exploring other options or opportunities as well as the fear of failure and so on.

The intentions will drive the reason for the change.  If the intention is superficial, the attempt at change will be superficial as well.  For example, if I want to lose weight, say 1 kg, just because the doctor told me to, I could achieve it in the short term but there is nothing in that intent that will drive long term behavioural changes.  I could just starve for a week and lose that 1 kg and I would not be able to maintain and change my lifestyle in the long term.  Not only was this reason superficial, but it could also potentially be harmful.  Your why must be deep and meaningful.  Most people who are successful at weight loss is because they have found a deeper reason and will likely involve the desire to be living a healthy lifestyle because they would like to spend and enjoy as much time with the people they love as possible.

People who are clear on the why or their intentions are purposeful and intentional in what they choose to spend their time and energy on.  The why will help you remove the distractions, the nice-to-have, the-follow-the-crowd trend, and anything that drives you away from what you are purposed to do.

One of the best methods to get clarity is to write down your answers and with each answer, keep on asking why until you discover or uncover a common theme.  For example, I had the desire to challenge a long held limiting belief of “I am not good at art and therefore I am not artistic or creative.”  What started out as just not being able to draw turned into the whole category of art and creativity.  I had to ask myself the following questions:

  • Why do I belief that I am not good at draw which leads to not being creative?
  • Why am I defining creative to just being good at drawing?
  • What are the other avenues of creativity?
  • What have I done that would be considered creative?
  • Why am I not trying to see if I can be good in other areas of creativity?
  • What am I holding on to this limiting belief?  Does it make me feel good?  Am I afraid of being disappointed?  Am I expecting perfection?

After a series of questions, my answers had a common theme around being afraid to fail.  I had then decided what learning about painting and to truly see just how far I could go if I truly tried.  That took me on a journey of learning a new skill and a lot of knowledge in the process.  This journey has been amazing, and I have not only enjoyed the painting process, but I have also started to notice and observe colours and designs that I had taken for granted or just never saw before. 

This leads to the next step which is to reconceptualise or visualise.

Visualise or reconceptualise.  This step is all about replacing the limiting with intentional thoughts.

Visualise or re-conceptualise what it would look like when you do not have this limiting belief.  Replace the limiting belief with the why you are doing this.  Reconceptualise the intention into the new empowering belief. 

For example, replace “I am not good at public speaking” to “My intent is to help others by sharing my experience and knowledge and one way that I can do effectively is through public speaking.  Therefore, I am going to learn and be better at public speaking”. 

The key here is to change words like not good or can’t to remind yourself of your intention, the why and include words that will help you focus on learning and growing.

Visualise is one of the things that my golf coach would tell me especially when it comes to putting.  He would say, visualise the ball going into the hole.  Now of course I would also say “yeah I am visualising but the ball still isn’t going into the hole!”  there are other factors going into supporting the visualising exercise such as the knowledge of what to do.  Just like the golf example, part of the process is to visualise and the other part is knowing how to putt.  It is like, I can visualise all I want but if I don’t aim, estimate the speed and how much to power to hit the ball, all visualise will do is just that, visualise. 

Therefore, after visualising, it is also the know-how of what to do next and this leads to the next part.

Align the why with the what.

Aligning your intentions with the actions or steps that you need to take.  For example, to overcome the limiting belief of “I am not good at public speaking” to “I can learn to be better at public speaking”, I will need to focus the actions that I will need to do with learning to be better at public speaking.  Steps that you would need to take to learn would include, attending a public speaking workshop, reading about techniques and tips and tricks on public speaking, watching, observing, and learning from a good public speaker, reviewing and learning from your previous public speaking engagement and so on. 

Each step is intentional and aligned to the purpose.  Alignment is important in that we do not want to waste time and effort on actions that do not directly help you.  For example, learning how to write better speeches while useful does not directly align with the intention.

Let me summarise the 3 key parts to intentions:

  1. Ask and answer the why.  Be crystal clear with your intentions.  Know the motivations.  This will help you put in the effort and time because it has become important and a priority for you.
  2. Visualise or reconceptualize to an empowering belief.  Replace the limiting with empowering belief.  Focus on words and thoughts that are forward looking.  Replace words such as can’t or not good with can learn or can improve to help get you started.
  3. Align the why with the what.  Align your intentions with the actions and steps that you need to take.  Alignment enables prioritization, focus and effort management.

In this coming week, let’s start to overcome the limiting belief by being crystal clear on your intentions or the why.  In the next episode, I will be covering the next part of the 3 steps to overcoming limiting belief which is supporting structure or the How.

As always, Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.  You are able to listen to the podcast below as well.   I hope that you have learned at least one thing that you are able to apply into your everyday life. Please subscribe and set the notification so that you will know when that episode is available. 

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