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From the desk of Coach James

Why upgrading your mindset is more important than upgrading your mobile.

It’s that time of year when I upgrade my phone [finally]. I am personally done with my existing phone. It was not performing well, and now that I am starting to do different things – like video editing, which this handset is not cut-out for – it was time for an upgrade to keep up with the demands of the time.

Most people love to upgrade their phones when the time comes, or get a new car as the family grows, or because their current vehicle is not doing it for them anymore. As life changes, we evolve and things change, so we get new things to replace our old possessions that no longer serve us to the degree we need them to. Keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of the world we occupy is an accepted part of life. It is customary for people to want the latest technological innovation to make them feel accepted by their peer group, or wanting to keep up with the Joneses to feel okay.

The feeling we get by having the latest tech, or hybrid motor vehicle is short-lived, and because technology updates so rapidly, the next longed-for shiny object is never far away.

When we try to make do, and put up with what we currently have until we can afford to buy the new all-singing all-dancing bit of kit that promises to revolutionise our life, often stress and frustration ensues as the world around us changes but we fail to keep up, feeling inferior for not having the latest and greatest thing.

That feeling of stress and frustration, the inferiority complex we internally reconcile with, of not being good enough; is that just because we have an outdated model of handset?

Just like our handset and tech which frequently requires updating – more often for Windows 10 users – our body and mind need a re-fresh and update to keep up with the world in which we reside. It’s easy to neglect our own needs because we’re too busy taking care of everyone else, or attending to the demands of life – and then on top of all that you’re expected to breathe and be mindful.

We often assume that if we had that latest bit of tech our life would be so much easier.

When the doorbell rings and you get handed a box with your new gizmo in, the anticipation soon dies when your expectations are not lived up to, as life remains as banal as it was before opening the box to unleash the power of innovation.

How we deal with and experience life is primarily to do with the operating programme we are running in our head, with or without the latest tech. If you have a voice in your head telling you, ‘You’re not good enough, you are a failure’, and that you’ll never amount to anything; that doomsday record stuck on repeat is inevitably going to play despite the number of shiny objects you clutter your external world with.

It’s a fallacy to think simply by having the latest chipset in your phone, your life will improve. Just like your handset software needs an update, so do you.

If we’re still using thought patterns that helped us through life when we were a student, but now we’re a home owner with a family and bills, but still playing the role of a student, that’s where the disconnect manifests and we look to the outside world to plug the gap with shiny objects.

In a perfect evolutionary world, we naturally transition and develop in accordance with life. Having a perfect existence, is as rare as getting served a perfect cup of tea from a chocolate teapot at the Ritz.

Transitioning from each season of life: infancy, childhood, adolescents, and adulthood, often comes with some challenges that manifest from bad experiences that move with us as emotional baggage from one stage to the next. If we’re still experiencing the emotional out-playing of childhood traumas in adulthood, then the way we show up and behave as an adult will be burdened with challenges that were not addressed when they occurred. Your mind must process information and make sense of the world before it can move on and grow into the next stage of life.

We are responsible for how we show up and respond to the world. People feel stuck and unable to move forwards in life because internally they are processing out-dated emotional baggage and still operating from those thoughts that are not relevant today.

If we can update our internal software (mindset) and keep up with the world and the way we deal with it, the better we will be able to adapt and deal with the frenetic world we live in.

Personal development is the answer to upgrading your mindset and improving your ability of showing up in the world in a way you can conduct yourself in accordance with the times.

You can upskill yourself by visiting the self-help section at the book store, but with myriad titles to choose from, selecting the one with the exact life-changing nugget of wisdom you require may take some time.

Getting a life coach is fast becoming the most efficient way to upskill yourself effectively to help ensure you can get the most out of yourself and life, equipping you with the tools and resources to help you show up in the world as the best version of yourself. Every next level [of life] requires a different version of you, and coaching will help you be the version you need to be to get to the level you want to be at.

It is well known that people get a personal trainer to show them what to do in the gym and then help them achieve their fitness goals; true personal growth and change happens outside the gym. A life coach will help you with life skills.

My coach always used to tell me that it is not just about the goal you are striving for, but it is more about the person you need to become in order to achieve that goal. Hindsight teaches that you could not be the person you are today five years ago. When you ask yourself: “Who do I need to become in order to be the person I want to be?” Asking yourself this type of question is better than asking yourself what you need to buy to make yourself feel better about not being the person you want to be.

One of the world’s best known and influential thought leaders and coaches, Tony Robbins, who I have trained with always links things back to identity. Seeing Tony conduct a coaching intervention with a person who identifies themselves as depressed, for example, Tony gets the individual to change their state and asks them who they need to be to not be depressed, what needs to happen? When the person takes on the thoughts and physiology of what it would be like to not be depressed, Tony tells the person to feel into it more and make a move as that new persona, he then asks who is this person; give them a name? It is in this moment that an identity shift happens, the individuals modus operandi changes and updates to become the newly evolved person, who is not depressed, or who is more self-confident, or whatever the intervention set out to achieve.

As humans we are very good at over-complicating everything, or thinking things can never be as simple as they are. But just thinking differently, and telling yourself a new story of who you are is all it takes.

From first-hand experience I know how easy it is to get caught up in a lifetime of therapy sessions trying to make head-or-tail of the past in order to move forward. I have pursed every external avenue looking for the answer to who am I; what’s the purpose of my existence? It was simply a case of I didn’t know who I was.

By connecting to the core of our being and fine-tuning it by taking care of ourselves and keeping on top of our emotional baggage, our desire to search out for shiny objects to plug the internal void of not feeling enough will get smaller.

When you think about updating your system, like a computer needs updates to its operating systems, what comes to mind to you? Depending on your age it might be visions of floppy disks, or typing commands in MS-DOS (an operating system for x86-based personal computers). Updating ourselves does not require having brain surgery, or being hooked up to a super computer – it may do in the future – but it is more about our personal philosophy, what we tell ourselves about ourselves and how we see the world.

If you want to make it sound sciencey, about neural plasticity and the parasympathetic nervous system, you can, but why over complicate it when you can just think about your own personal operating system as your personal philosophy?

In personal development and coaching the primary aim, or at least the first step in my experience is to bring about personal-awareness, if we know ourselves better, we can perform more efficiently.

Upgrading yourself to get to the next level, in life, in business, or anything that is worthwhile requires knowing how to get the best out of yourself, or where there is room for improvement and what needs tinkering.

Who do you need to be to achieve the life you’re going after? Are the current set of beliefs about yourself serving you or do you need to update them?


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