So long, 2020. Now we want to realise our dreams, feel happier and look positively to the future! It’s entirely in our power, says life coach and hypnotherapist Camilla Sacre-Dallerup,
1. Are you getting in your own way?
Resistance, doubt and fear can act as huge roadblocks for your dreams. They can prevent you from truly blossoming, if you aren’t aware of it.
An easy way to raise your awareness and recognise that you are resisting or getting in your own way is when you’re feeling doubtful and fearful about your goals and ambitions. That’s when negative self-talk starts to creep in.
Here’s how you can re-frame your mindset to gain clarity and focus:
- Start by writing down a situation that is bothering you right now. Then consider this statement: ‘We are the authors of our own life stories.’ In other words, the thoughts we think, and the words we speak, have an impact on how our lives pan out.
- Look back at the situation you wrote down and now describe next to it why it’s bothering you. Use as few or as many words as you like.
- When you’ve done that, take a look at how you have described the situation, and especially the words you used. Were you blaming everyone else or did you take responsibility, too? How can you re-frame your situation to a more positive one? Write down how it would feel, look and sound if it was instead playing out in your favour.
2. Think ahead to 10 years’ time…
Your imagination can help you set goals. Look at your life now and fast-forward in your mind what your life can be! Try this exercise now:
- Imagine yourself 10 years further on in your life from where you are today.
- Start writing a letter to yourself listing at least 10 things you have achieved in that time. It can be as simple as, ‘I loved my visit to Italy,’ or, ‘When I picked up the phone in my new office in Manhattan.’ Well, if you are living in Birmingham and you are writing about an office on Broadway, could that be telling you that perhaps you have some secret dreams that you want to follow?
- Be as detailed as you can be in this letter, as if everything you are writing to yourself has already happened. Let your imagination run away with you!
- Take a good look at what you have written and ask yourself honestly: what changes, if any, are needed in my life to make some or all of this possible.
3. Four telling questions
Try harnessing the power of NLP (neurolinguistic programming) to support you whenever you face a dilemma of some kind in your life. Perhaps you’re considering changing careers or starting a new relationship.
With a specific question in mind, go through the steps below, writing down your replies to each question.
- What will happen if I don’t…? For example, the answer could be, ‘If I don’t set up my own business, I will regret it later in life, or I will be without those memories.’
- What will happen if I do…?
- What won’t happen if I do…?
- What won’t happen if I don’t…?
Try the same exercise for all sorts of different scenarios. For example, ‘Should I stay in this job?’, ‘Should I start exercising?’, ‘Should I give up smoking?’
You’ll usually find it’s much easier to reach a decision once you have answered all four questions and seen your answers to them written down. The intention behind why we want to do certain things also becomes more apparent, which helps us in a decision-making situation.
4 Picture this…
Visualisation is a powerful and effective goal-setting tool that many athletes use when training.
Research shows that when you visualise and imagine your dreams and goals coming true, your mind can’t differentiate between whether you’ve just imagined it, or if it has actually happened!
This makes visualisation a brilliant mind hack. To support your own visualisation practice, begin by making what I call a display dream board (other people call it a vision board). Use pictures from magazines, brochures or newspapers that inspire and enhance your dream.
These could be pictures of a place you would like to visit, or the kind of house you would like to live in one day. Or, if you’re looking to bring romance into your life, you may choose pictures that make you think of love.
It’s important to write down the main emotion that your pictures evoke in you: will you feel happy, relaxed, contented or safe when these things in the pictures come into your life?
You can make your dream even more tangible by being specific and putting dates by your goals. Hang your dream board somewhere where you’ll see it every day, and, when you look
at it, notice the wonderful feelings you experience when you imagine those dreams coming true. This is what visualisation is all about.
5 Tip the balance to the positive
When talking about a positive mindset it’s important to acknowledge the negativity bias in our brain. This makes the mind want to override positive thoughts with negative ones.
This is why being vigilant with our daily mind training to create a supportive mindset is so important.
After a year like 2020, where most of us have faced all sorts of challenges, it’s vital to set time aside for mindful practices, such as daily meditation to enable us to go within and build our own ‘mind six-pack’.
Meditation can help you to really notice where you are currently putting your energy and where you want to put your energy and focus. When things feel out of control it can be easy to get caught up in what may be going wrong or focusing on lack, doubt and fear.
But the negativity bias doesn’t have to run your life! With practice, you can navigate situations differently.
Start by reminding yourself that you always have a choice, and simply ask yourself: what do I want to focus on in my life?
Then start listing to yourself everything that is going well and everything you are grateful for. That is how you begin creating a mindset that is supportive of your dreams.