I said it’s simple, but perhaps not easy. – Many people do not even know what they want! I know what that’s like. In the past, I knew what I didn’t want, but I had no clear goals – I just wanted to avoid pain. I thought a lot about all the things I didn’t want, such as “I don’t want to be sick, I don’t want to be unhappy, anxious, feel worthless….”, and so on.
And it worked! I did get more of what I focused on! So I got sicker, more depressed, more worried, and my confidence had hit rock bottom.
In September 2019, I joined an online-course of six months and since then my focus has been laser-sharp on the outcome I want. Because I have focused on the positive outcome, I can check quite a few boxes already!
Before I show you my list of personal achievements so far, I want to give you an idea of where I was at when I joined this life-altering course in September. The reason I want to tell you is that my story goes to show that what I have learned really works. You see, before I joined the course I had so much anxiety that I didn’t even dare to be alone. I had been on heavy meds for years (for bipolar disorder since 1994 and painkillers since 2005 due to a spinal deformity). I had very little energy and had to sleep for at least two hours during the day, every single day since 2010. I also struggled with memory loss and eventually ended up on disability pension. For the past 4 years, I couldn’t walk more than 10-15 meters without crutches. Sometimes I used a wheelchair to get around. I was in debt, had no confidence that I’d ever work again, I was seriously worried about my future. But let’s not dwell on the past! I have a brand new life, and it keeps getting better!
In no particular order, EXCEPT the first one – which was vital to achieving the rest, here’s what I have achieved since September 2019. And this is only the beginning ……
I’m happy – every day!
I’ve found my life purpose.
I know how to reach my goals.
I’ve lost weight.
Quit taking meds and painkillers *
I can walk 100 times further!!
And I dance every day 🙂
I feel confident.
Made friends, found my tribe.
*I want to stress that I did wean off the anti bipolar meds with support of my physician and that I did not quit overnight. The side effects to quitting cold turkey can be quite severe. I ticked all the boxes with symptoms before, but I no longer have those ups (mania) and downs (depressions). I feel perfectly “normal” (for lack of a better word) and that’s all that matters to me 🙂
Would none of the achievements above have happened anyway without me taking the online course? Well, without it I seriously doubt that I would have gotten anywhere – I’d most likely continue attracting all the things I did not want, as before.
More than anything, I know that I have found the real key to personal success. I have found my true purpose (to write inspirational books to help others) and I keep doing the work that I know brings out the results I want, all in due time. I know I tend to be impatient; I want results “yesterday” … but I also know that a relaxed mind and a positive mental attitude, backed up by a burning desire will get me there. I’ve come so far already, and I am persistent! (Which in itself is pretty huge for a former procrastinator and worrywart …..)
For many years, my main goal was to protect my Comfort Zone
– or my Comfy Dome, as I called it.
I had created a safe place for myself, and hearing that ‘learning happens outside of your comfort zone’ rubbed me in all kinds of wrong directions. I could learn just fine inside my Comfy Dome!
And I was right. You can learn things inside your comfort zone.
And I was wrong. There is a limit to how much you can learn if you stay within the boundaries of your comfort zone …
………………………………….. and I claimed that was okay with that.
……… but you know that it was my fear talking, right?
This is how I imagined my “comfy dome” – a safe haven for me to live and be happy. Everything was just fine:
I had been telling myself that lie for so long, I believed it. Hey, I liked being comfortable! Who doesn’t?
But how comfortable could I actually be when I was scared shitless of everything outside my own little “Comfy Dome”?? It was indeed little. The world outside of my dome was the scariest place I could imagine:
Did you hear what I just said? “The scariest place I could imagine.”. Imagine being the key word!
The scary place was inside me, not out there!!! In my mind I had created so much fear that it held me back from living an amazing life. I was a prisoner of my own mind.
“Fear is a powerful form of thought. It paralyzes the nerve centers, thus affecting the circulation of the blood. This, in turn, paralyzes the muscular system, so that fear affects the entire being, body, brain and nerve, physical, mental, and muscular.”
– Charles Haanel
I know the above statement is true; I ended up being physically ill. I was not only trapped in my own mind but in my own body … all because of fear. Fear that I had created with my own thoughts. I didn’t know any better.
But then …
I joined a self-discovery course back in the fall of 2019 – somewhat reluctantly, I admit, full of anxiety and scepticism as I was at the time. But I will be forever grateful to have learned at that course that we can expand our Comfort Zone and that we can do it an inch at a time – by gently nudging it, not leaping off the side of the edge. (Been there, done that! Only to fall flat on my nose. I felt like I had taken seven steps forward, then 10 back!!)
I made this image to illustrate the different zones:
The comfort zone is where your day-to-day, routine work happens – where you’re on auto-pilot. There are no surprises, you are confident in what you do. Most of us need some days in the comfort zone. Some learning and innovation can take place in this zone, but if you stay there for too long you might get bored and lack motivation.
The learning zone – aka the stretch zone lies just outside of your comfort zone. When you stretch it a little and then go back to your comfort zone, you can reflect and apply what you learned – this is growth.
The panic zone – aka stress zone. By trying to control your stress and/or anxiety, you are drained from energy and very little, if any, learning takes place. We may have to enter this zone to deal with an emergency, but staying in the stress zone for long can be harmful to our health.
A Helpful Question
I have asked myself a question that has proven to be very helpful, which is: “What would the person I intend to become do next?”
I ask myself that question in many different situations throughout the day, but let’s leave that for another post. When I ask myself that question regarding the comfort zone, this is my answer: She continues to gently nudge and nudge until her comfort zone has expanded a bit. Then she nudges it again, and again. She is courageous! She is curious to see what she can accomplish! She also wants to find out how she can be helpful to others when she continues to nudge that edge, gently, respectfully, with self-compassion.
Because of this exercise, I am now free from my previous “Comfy Dome” once and for all and I have replaced it with an actual Comfort Zone, where I relax and apply what I am learning. Then I do it all over again, nudge the edge and expand, go back and apply new knowledge.
I am now enjoying the journey called life, like the true hero that I am.
When in doubt, ask yourself this question: What would the person I intend to become do next? You might be surprised when you hear the answer…
The amazing self-discovery course is now open to new students, and you can find it here:tinyurl.com/HeroCourse
_♥_♥_♥_ Stay tuned for more unusual tips. Follow me on Twitter: @bibilindahl
This documentary, featuring Deepak Chopra, Robin Sharma, Rashida Jones, Sir Ken Robinson, is about Joseph Campbell and the Hero’s Journey. Give it a few minutes and see what you think. (Watch the video down below).
In narratology and comparative mythology, the hero’s journey (aka monomyth) is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed.
Numerous literary works of popular fiction have been identified as examples of the Hero’s Journey template, including Star Wars, Moby Dick, Jane Eyre, and works by Charles Dickens, William Faulkner, Hemingway, Twain, C. S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Stephen King, just to name a few.
Last fall, I joined an online course to learn more about the Hero’s Journey and how to use it – not only as a writer (I do use Campbell’s formula for WIP novel), but also to find out how I could be a hero in my own life. The course was amazing!! I have recommended it to everyone I know and a few friends have signed up already. The course is offered only once a year and the next one starts on the 27th of September.
Would you like to learn more about the Hero’s Journey and the gold within you? Check out this class: tinyurl.com/HeroCourse You’ll get to see the first video in a series of three right away after leaving your email address at the first page. (You can of course unsub at any time) Scholarship based course, limited spots.
Is one of your goals to write a book and have it published? Hey, me too!
One of the ways to breathe life into our dreams and goals is to visualize them as if they have already occurred.
Did you know that more than 95 % of every single choice we make is controlled by the subconscious mind? So much fo “free will”, huh? BUT – you can train your subconscious so it makes the choices you want.
That’s how I stopped procrastinating, for example. I taught my subcounscious that I DO the things I say I will do. I have repeated the following affirmation at least 15 times, three times a day for the past year: “Do it NOW!” And guess what? My subconscious mind won’t let me put things off. I just DO it, and I do it right away.
When I see myself as already having accomplished my goals and my dreams, that also sends a strong message to my subconscious mind. Let me show you how I use this for my writing process.
I facilitate this process and add vitality to my goals by using the five human senses: Visual (seeing), Auditive (hearing), Tactile (touch), Olfactory (smell), and Gustatory (taste).
My goal is to have my novel published by May 2023.
Let’s see how many senses I can add to that goal:
How does the book smell? Well, if you love reading – that’s an easy question! Before I start reading a book, I love flipping through the pages to smell it first.
How do I see the book, visually? I visualize the physical book, its cover, its design, and I enjoy seeing myself flip through the individual pages.
How does my goal sound? I love hearing the sound of the pages flip by as I leaf through my book!
How can I physically touch this goal? That’s easy! I often “see” with my fingers, I touch everything! I see myself noticing the feel of the pages as I browse through my book. I notice the smooth feel of the cover as I run my fingers across it.
Lastly, taste. How can I taste a book? Well, I’ve been known to taste worse! (Icelandic fermented shark? Worst taste ever!!) Instead of eating my book or its pages, I can add whatever taste I want to my book experience! For example, I can see myself eating an orange as I flip through those magnificent pages.
Using the five senses in this way, when I flip through the pages of a book, it’s not just “a book.” it’s MY book! And I see it as published! Once your subconscious gets the idea that the book has been published, it starts making choices for me to make it happen. That’s how the human mind works. Fascinating, isn’t it!?
To bring even more vitality to this goal, I’ve designed a book cover with my book title on the front and my name right under my title. I’ve printed it out and attached my new “book cover” to a brand new book.
Now I can SEE my published book!
I can pick it up and TOUCH it!
I can HEAR the pages flip as I turn them!
I can eat an orange while I’m doing this and associate this yummy TASTE with my book!
And yes, I can SMELL it!
I can smell my dream!
And it’s magical!
Thanks for reading. Now, go bring your own dreams to life using all your senses. Teach your subconscious what you really want. It is quite magical.
Stay tuned for more unusual tips. Follow me on Twitter: @bibilindahl