When I moved to Marlborough, a little town in Wilshire, I had the opportunity to give up work for a while. My son was 1 and my daughter was 5. I had lived with the belief that I had to work in order to have purpose in my life and to be happy. The niggle in my head was that this was ridiculous.
Now work is not a problem, but for a while I was called to be a mother to my children and work took me away from that. I was fortunate at the time that my husband was able to support us financially for a while, to be the mother that I wanted to be to our kids.
I handed in my notice as a Distance Learning Manager and Tutor in a Further Education College and I embraced this time with my kids. There was a lot of fear for me at the time. My identity was embroiled in my work. I knew I wanted to break free of this shackle that kept me in the rat race. But I couldn’t even imagine not having a purpose. The purpose of being a mum would not be enough.
I stepped into the unknown. I faced the discomfort. I allowed life to show me the way. It was a pivotal point in my life and one that I am forever grateful for. I learned to love my life without the conditions that I had placed on it.
I cycled or walked my kids to school everyday, down Preshute Lane. We stopped to watch the ducks on the bridge, we went through the churchyard and down the lovely lane lined with trees and snowdrops, in the winter, daffoldils and blossom in the summer, to the kids school in Manton. It was idyllic. They had a taste of nature every day on this 1 mile journey to school and on the return in the afternoon. I got to spend time with them and cared for them in the best way I could. We embraced life in Marlborough. In time, I returned to work but this time with a very different approach, a balance in my life between family, my hobbies and my work. My kids have grown up now. I do a job I love and that I’m passionate about. I spend quality time with my husband every day. None of this would have been possible, had I not faced my fear and taken steps to change.
In this blog, I want to talk about change. Many of us get stuck in the way things are for us. Our reality either goes unquestioned or we are too afraid to face our fears and change. Change is possible for all of us, no matter how much we are wedded to what we are identified with. In this article I will speak to what is possible for us, what transformation involves and how we can help ourselves along the way.
The first question I get asked by clients, – Is change possible for me?
We are always evolving and growing. Our perspectives, conditioning, beliefs, experiences, values change moment to moment. Life is change.
Beliefs are the rules that we live by. We all have many beliefs, some that we are aware of, some that we are unaware of, but that are driving our behaviour from behind the scenes.
Take a look at the beliefs that you had when you were younger and the beliefs you hold now. For me, when I was a child it was normal to load a car up with people and for no one to wear a seat belt. Now, even if it wasn’t illegal, I wouldn’t dream of being on a journey in a vehicle with no seat belt. Another example is that in my 20’s I found running difficult. My breathing couldn’t cope, and it just felt like my body was a ton of lead. In my 30’s, this all changed when I decided out of the blue, to do my first triathlon. I was super unfit. I started to run. I did the triathlon. Then I went on and did 5K running race, then 10K, then many half marathons and finally I completed the London marathon in 2009. This was from someone who had a firm belief that I wasn’t built for running. That was one step in breaking through many limiting beliefs, which led to me training and building my own business as a Personal Fitness Trainer in 2010.
I could give many more examples about how a change in belief has led to a life changing experience and overcoming what seemed like impossible feats.
Take a moment and reflect on how your life has evolved, how you got to where you are today? What were the step changes?
The important point here is that change is not only possible, but it happens all the time to each of us.
What does Personal Growth, Change work or Life Transformation mean?
From the time we are born, we are adapting to life, to survive. Many of the strategies and tactics we employ are or become maladaptive in time. We are conditioned by our parents, our surroundings, and our experiences. We form beliefs to fit in with the social structures that we live in. Being loved and cared for means our survival. We learn as we grow to fit in, rather than to individuate and be autonomous.
In the Western world, for many, our teachers and society point us towards having more, being more, doing more to fit in, to be enough, to be acceptable, in order to be happy. Books, the mainstream news, magazines all point us towards what and who we NEED to be. Very little in our society points us towards who we are, our creative genius and our innate wisdom, which is whole, unique and wonderful.
We close down parts of us and lose the freedom to express ourselves fully, no matter what. We compare. We judge ourselves harshly. We feel shame and guilt. We go into relationships that are co-dependent. We go into jobs that keep us trapped.
We live life with our light hidden in us, deep and dark. We learn to tolerate life or make unnecessary compromises. It is sad and it happens slowly over a long period of time. In fact, it is perpetuated by generations of the same belief systems and social conditioning.
- Personal Growth means to UNBECOME or to UNLEARN this conditioning, these beliefs systems, our own projections, and perceptions. To go back to the freedom of who we were before all of these layers and learned behaviours became our identification.
- Change work means to increase our self-awareness. The conscious mind processes 40-50 pieces of information per second. The unconscious mind processes 11 million bits of information per second. Our Conscious mind makes up 5% of our brain. That means that 95% is the unconscious mind. Reflect on that for a moment! We think we know what’s going on. Most of us are not aware of what is driving the behaviours, the habits, the addictions, the unhappiness, or the perpetual seeking. Most don’t know what the problem is, that they are trying to solve. Getting help from a Life Coach can be a huge catalyst for your growth. I can see in YOU, what you can’t see in yourself.
- It means to individuate, to be ok being you. To know who you are and express your uniqueness in the world. To not modify your behaviour to fit into what other people or society wants of you.
- It means to take action in a new direction. We create patterns and habits to make life easier. To change, we want to break those habits and create new habits that serve what we want. This will mean taking new actions instead of repeating the same old patterns over and over and over again.
- It means to fall in love with who you are and own that. Imagine being Love. No hate or berating or denigrating yourself to the rubbish heap.
- It means to face the parts of you that have grown in a direction that does not serve you. All our triggers give us feedback about what is going on in the psyche or the Subconscious mind. These are parts of you. Change work will involve integration of all these parts rather than getting rid of the parts of us that we have disowned or neglected.
- It means unleashing your unlimited potential and creative genius into the world. This will involve courageous action.
What kind of things could I bring to a Life Coach?
This list is not exhaustive and often times we are not sure what the problem is but we know we are unhappy or unfulfilled with the way things are. Areas could be:
- Relationship to yourself (foundational piece)
- Addictions, habits, patterns
- Relationship to an intimate partner
- An easier divorce or break up with a partner
- Relationship with children, family, friends, work related.
- Business aspirations
- Mindset towards abundance – moving to abundance from lack.
- Weight loss/gain
- Mental health and emotional regulation
- Physical health
- Relationship to life changes such as menopause, moving on after grief, becoming a parent, , empty nest, moving into retirement
What is required for your Personal Growth?
- Commitment to your growth. How you show up in a coaching conversation/agreement is how you show up in your life. Be on time. Make agreements/commitments and follow through with action. No one is coming to save you because when you wake up to yourself you will know that you do not need to be saved.
- Accountability and responsibility for actions, behaviours and results
- Take ACTION
- Show up with curiosity, openness and willingness to grow and do what it takes no matter what.
What would become possible for me?
The sky is the limit. Change work means to open and embrace the unknown, to create what you perceive as impossible. You don’t need to know how the journey will unfold, you just need to know that so much becomes possible from a new perspective or a new belief system, no matter what your current circumstances.
How can I choose the right person to help me?
- It is less important to like them than it is to feel or see that the questions they ask hit on a spot of discomfort or raise your awareness. The initial discussion in person or via message can hit a spot and you will know.
- An effective coach is not afraid to ask the difficult questions, the questions no one else has asked, the ones you or others are afraid to ask?
- Action as a focus. Nothing changes without action.
- You have all the answers to every problem or difficulty in your life. As a coach, I help you access your inner wisdom and to trust in yourself.
- Triggered reactions are our opportunity for growth.
I have worked with a lot of therapists and life coaches myself over the years and my work has been invaluable and always at a high level of personal commitment. It is my experience that therapy has a place. Not everyone needs a therapist. But I cannot think of anyone who would not benefit from having a Life Coach in their life, to help them navigate change.
As far as I can see, we have one shot at this glorious thing called life. We can suffer it or we can live it, create it, take responsibility for it, own it, love it into existence. It’s a roller coaster for sure, we take the ups, and we take the downs. With grace. With Love. With gratitude. This is to live!
Margo is a Life Transformation Coach. She works online with clients all over the world and in person, both in her private office in Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK, and in different locations on 1-1 Retreats. Subscribe to her newsletter below to be notified of new events and to receive coaching tips. To set up an appointment or if you have any questions or comments email Margo at: email@example.com