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The situation we find ourselves in at the moment means we are all having to compromise in different areas of our lives. Unable to see family, friends and loved ones, unable to go away on holiday, having to work from home, instead of being in the office with our teams and colleagues, unable to do a bit of retail therapy. The list goes on. We have all had to make huge compromises.

But…….even before this situation, when we were free to come and go as we pleased, shop where we wanted, travel, meet up with friends and all the other things we took for granted, there were still many of us not living life how we want to live it, because of the compromises we made!

 We start with high hopes and dreams and as our lives unfold, those hopes and dreams begin to disappear, as we compromise what we really want to do or be in order to keep others happy, through a sense of responsibility or duty, through guilt, to keep the status quo and not to rock the boat. Each time we compromise and tell ourselves that life is not all bad, those hopes and dreams we had for ourselves fade a little more, until they have gone completely.

How many of us have stayed in relationships or jobs, because to leave would have such a far reaching effect, that the guilt that would consume us and the responsibility we believe we have for other people’s happiness means it is not an option? So we stay. We live with feelings of sadness, despair, resentment, frustration and depression. We are deeply unhappy. And yet, we stay and we compromise our lives further, until our life is no longer our own.

Deep down inside we know. We know we would like to break free and live the life we dreamed of, we know we are worth more than we have allowed ourselves to be, we are painfully aware of all the compromises we made and as the years pass we then come to believe it is too late to change. We made our bed, now we must lie in it. It will be our death bed.

When we are betrayed by people we love and respect, we experience deep hurt and heartbreak and yet we betray ourselves every time we make a compromise in our life, that takes us further from the life we want to have. Is it any wonder when that happens we are unhappy, frustrated and angry? We are constantly being betrayed by ourselves. Breaking our own hearts.

Neale Donald Walsch the American author of the “Conversation with God” books says “More damage has been done to others by persons leading lives of quiet desperation (that is doing what they had to do) than ever was done by persons freely doing what they wanted.”

When we are desperately unhappy, when we have compromised, who is getting the benefit of our unique gifts and talents we were born with to share with the world? We were given these gifts, to make a difference!

He also says “Betrayal of yourself in order not to betray another, is betrayal nonetheless. It is the highest betrayal.” 

It is the highest because when we betray ourselves, we are destined to live that life of “quiet desperation.” 

When you give so much of your life in compromise, then you are unable to give others the benefit and value of your own unique true self. High betrayal indeed!

Many of us believe we are in a position where we have no choice and that we have to stay in an unhappy situation because of that.

The truth is though, there is always a choice! We are always making choices! If we decide to do nothing, that is a choice!  Often we will make a choice that will create or avoid an outcome!

When we say we have “No choice” we are choosing to believe that! Our choices define us!

It does not mean that all our choices are easy ones! We wish! Some are very tough! When hard choices have to be made it takes courage to make them! But we owe it to ourselves to make those choices and no longer live our lives by the compromises we have put on ourselves.

And yes, it is easy to blame the current circumstances for not living life as we choose and having to make compromises, but how many of us were not living that life long before this? How easy is it to blame what’s going on for that not to be happening? When the truth is, it gives us a great excuse not to make those hard choices and decisions that we need to make, so we are not living our lives by the compromises of our own making any more.

Neale Donald Walsch goes on to say “If you feel trapped, decide to live your life. How much of your life are you willing to give away? How much of your life are you willing to reclaim? Once you reclaim your life, how much more do you think you will have to give others?”

So are you ready to be one of the courageous ones? Will you live your life your way? Are you ready to reclaim your life and share your unique gifts and talents with the world? Will you define who you truly are by the choices you make?

Most importantly, are you willing to stop betraying yourself at the highest level and live a life free from your own compromises to live the life you want to live?

Of course you are!!!

Article Written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practitioner and coach

So it’s the start of 2021 and New Year is the time when most people will set goals for what they are hoping to achieve during the year. Particularly this year, when we are all glad to see the back of 2020! It may be losing weight, getting that dream job, meeting “The One,” gaining a new skill, staying healthy, keeping in touch more with friends and family, whatever it is, the start of the year seems to be the time we throw ourselves into goal setting. And this time, we say, we will stick to it!!

And as we all know, often what happens, we start with great enthusiasm and motivation, then come February, that enthusiasm and motivation has waned and once again, we become unstuck!

The reason for this is that we are so wrapped up in the goal, we are ignoring the outcome!

 We are not focusing on our compelling vision!! We are not looking at what it is we really want and why and what it would mean to us and how it would have a positive impact on our lives! Basically we are focusing on the goal and not the outcome that we want! And it is the outcome that will drive and guide the goal!

It is well-formed outcomes that make general goals into a compelling vision.

A well-formed outcome is big, bold, inspiring, motivating, flexible and allows us to dream of success in anything we want to do by giving us a believable vision.

A goal is set to achieve that outcome, then what often happens is that we focus so much on the goal, we lose sight of the outcome, because the goal has in effect, become the outcome and where our focus is.

This explains why often, when achieving a goal we are left asking ourselves “Now what?” It’s because we were too caught up in the goal rather than the outcome!

The important thing when setting an outcome is to know what you truly want, not how you will get it! Know what you truly want as that will inspire and motivate you. It will give you direction and focus and a call to action!

You don’t need to know the how, just the what! When you know what you want, the how will show up! A well-formed outcome is stated in the positive, takes into account where you are now as well as what you want and you will know when you have achieved it!

The goals you set to achieve your outcome are ongoing, the outcome remains the same, the big, bold, compelling, vision! You take the first steps because it is so much easier to take whatever action is needed because you are inspired, motivated and focused on success! You are unstoppable! Your goals guide you there!

Following these tips when setting your outcomes will really help your focus and clarity.

Know what you truly want and that it is stated in the positive!

How will you know when you have it? What will it look, feel and sound like?

You know where and when you want it!

You can take the necessary action. You are responsible and in control for achieving it!

It is good for you and your life! It will have a positive, empowering effect!

Visualise! When you have achieved your outcome, what is happening? What can you see? What can you hear? How do you feel? What is happening? What is the end in mind?

If you are unsure as to what your big bold  outcome is and what it is you truly want, a good question to ask yourself is:-

“What one thing would I dare to dream if I knew I could not fail? “

 So what would it be? Write it down! You’ve nothing to lose!! You know you cannot fail!! Dare to dream!! No matter what is happening at the moment!! Or how unlikely it may seem!! Answer the question!! Without limitations!!

 When you answer this, it becomes your X Factor, your focal point. When you answer this you have your Major definite purpose in life.Asking yourself this question will enable you to give much more thought to what you really want in life.

As a result, you will take more risks, you will take more chances, you will have greater clarity and decision making will be easier!

And if obstacles or barriers seem to challenge you. This is a great exercise for keeping the momentum going and moving forward towards your outcome! It encourages you to think and focus on “The End in Mind” the desired outcome you want, at times when you may doubt yourself and the progress you are making.

Walk the Line

Imagine you have already achieved your outcome. What would it feel, look and sound like? What is happening? Who is there? What’s going on? Make it as bright and bold as possible! Step into it! Associate with it! Enjoy it! Have fun with it!

Walk from a starting point along an imaginary line to where that place is, using a maximum of seven steps. This is because when breaking down an outcome, our brain will process no more than seven steps, so makes the exercise much more effective!

Turn and look back at the time between the starting point and the end point. How did you get to your outcome? What steps did you take? What was the first step? What was the last step? What happened in between?

Go back to the starting point and notice how you now feel when you look at that end point! What is happening? What changes have taken place?

Sometimes, we can lose sight of our desired outcome, because we focus on the obstacles and barriers. It’s a bit like having a mountain between you and your end result that prevents you from enjoying the view! This exercise breaks down that mountain so your path and vision are clear of obstructions!

So just focus on what you really want, take whatever action needed and keep on going!

Then your compelling vision will become your dreamed of reality!

And of course, you can dare to dream and set your big, bold outcomes any time of the year!! Not just when a new one starts!!

Blog written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practitoner and Coach

As an NLP practitioner, a lot of the work I do focuses on the Reticular Activating System or RAS for short. Simply put (I like to keep things simple) the RAS is the brain’s information filtering system and each person’s RAS is unique to them.

We receive so much information at any given time, if this system did not exist, we would go into overload. The system works by filtering all the information we receive, then files it either in our unconscious or conscious mind, based on what makes sense to us according to our perspective of the world, through our beliefs, values, conditioning etc. Pretty good system.

RAS acts as a kind of door between the unconscious and conscious mind. Everything deemed not to make sense, useless, not relevant, goes straight into the unconscious and the door is closed. Leaving us with the information we can understand and makes sense to us, according to our view of the world.

 It is important to remember, our perspective of the world is totally unique to us. We all experience the world in a way that is completely individual to us!  (Hence a well known saying in NLP “The map is not the territory.”)

To give an example, if you buy a new car that is red, it seems all of a sudden that every other car you see on the road is red. It’s not that they’ve been in hiding waiting to pounce as soon as you got a red car, it’s just that you didn’t notice them before, as your focus was not on a red car, (unless of course your previous car was red!) so previous information you received that related to red cars was dumped in the unconscious mind, courtesy of your RAS.

Then when you became the proud owner of a red car, it became relevant to you, so information your brain received relating to red cars got promoted to the conscious mind and hey presto, you started seeing a lot of red cars!(And you will be thinking about red cars now, because I’ve mentioned them quite a bit!!). The red cars were always there, you just didn’t see them, as they were not relevant to you, so you didn’t focus on them!

 When you think about the things that you want in life which for you may be success, a wonderful job, money, happiness, great relationships, it is exactly the same principle. If you are not focusing on or not sure what it is you want, you will not be aware, not notice and will miss the opportunities, people, places and everything that is relevant to you achieving what you want in life.  However, as in the case of the red cars, they are still there, you are just not seeing them! As soon as you do, your RAS will spring into action!!

It’s generally easier for us to think about what we don’t want in our lives! Maybe a little trickier to think about what we really do want!! However, thinking this way can really hold us back from living the life we’d love to live!! So……..

Do not think of a pink elephant!!!!

I guarantee you are now thinking about a pink elephant!!! The brain is a tricky piece of kit!! It has to think about what it has been told not to think about, in order not to think about it!! (With me so far?) It does not compute a negative!! So when I am telling you not to think about a pink elephant, your brain does not hear “not” it just hears “Do think of a pink elephant!”

 You probably will have experienced this for yourself! Ever been out for dinner in a white top said to yourself “Don’t drop food on it!” And of course you do? Or carried mugs of coffees and said to yourself “Don’t spill them!” And as if by magic, that’s exactly what happens? It’s all down to the brain not being able to recognise the negative command you gave yourself and just hears “Drop food on it!” or “Spill them!” It is not you being clumsy, it is your brain carrying out your command in the only way it knows how! I’m sure you can think of a few examples of your own!

So if you are thinking about all the things you don’t want, your brain will just take that as what you do want!

I don’t want to be ill.

I don’t want to be broke.

I don’t want to be out of work.

I don’t want to be unhappy.

And the brain will do its job and your ever efficient RAS will throw all the things relevant to being ill, broke, out of work, unhappy out of the unconscious mind and into the conscious mind, as that is where your focus is! The exact opposite of what you want!

There is a great exercise that will help you think about what you do want, if you are not too sure, rather than what you don’t want! And then your focus will shift!

Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. On the left hand side head it “What I don’t want.” and on the right hand side the heading “What I do want.”

Start listing all the things you don’t want such as “I don’t want to be ill” “I don’t want to be broke” etc., whatever you don’t want in your life write it down on your list!

Once you have completed your list of what you don’t want, then you turn your attention to what you do want! Which is the exact opposite!   So for instance if the first thing on the left hand side is “I don’t want to be ill” then the opposite of that is “I want to be healthy” which you write down on the right hand side as the first thing. Continue doing this all the way down your list until you have completed the “What I do want” column as the exact opposite of everything you have listed in the “What I don’t want” column.

And then you cross off, rub out, everything on your “What I don’t want” list and now you are left with your positively stated and completed “What I do want” list.

 All you have to do then is focus on those things you want. Imagine them! Visualise! What will you be seeing, hearing and feeling? What will you be doing? Where will you be? What will be happening? What will people be saying to you?

When you do that, the door is opened! Your RAS is activated, which will then filter all the info you receive relating to what you are focused on into the right place, the conscious mind. When that happens, not only has the door opened, your mind has opened.

 It’s opened up to possibilities, opportunities and ways on how you can get what you want, because your RAS is working in its usual efficient way and filing everything relevant to what you are focused on in the conscious mind. So what you couldn’t see previously, you can now see clearly!

So get your RAS dazzling and get the results you want!

Article written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practioner and work coach

With all the negative things that are happening right now, COVID, lockdown, job losses, economy, it is understandable that we may be living in fear, rather than living in hope, as it all seems pretty hopeless!

Fear is ok in its place and in short bursts! It is part of our built in survival instinct and can keep us alive in a life or death situation when the fight or flight response kicks in and that’s great!

However living in a constant state of fear is certainly not good for our well being and can lead to all sorts of health problems!

Hope on the other hand is the opposite of fear! It’s what keeps us going, gives us something to live for and the belief that something good will happen! Or as Aristotle put it “Hope is a Waking Dream.”

Hope is looking at what’s the best that can happen, rather than what’s the worst that can happen, which is what we do when we are living in fear!

So how can we live in hope rather than fear particularly in these challenging times?

The first thing to do is to identify and acknowledge your fears. Sit down for a few minutes and think about what is you are afraid of! Be in the present! Be specific!  Notice the thoughts and feelings that come up! Notice what is going on inside! What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are you feeling?

Write it all down! List it all! Everything!! It gets it out of your head and down on paper! Go through the list for a few minutes and then screw it up and bin it!! Or set fire to it! Or swallow it!! Get rid of it!!  The act of doing this installs in your mind that you have identified, faced and acknowledged those fears and they no longer have power over you, because you have taken your power back!

And that frees your mind up to focus on Hope!

What is it that you hope for? Even if it seems impossible at the moment do not be limited by your perspective of the evidence available!!

I remember many years ago when there were several fairly unsuccessful attempts to make a film of “Lord of the Rings.”

“Nobody will ever be able to make a film of it using people” I declared (Meaning it could only be made as an animation) ”They would never be able to create the characters or the places as they are in the book or tell the story in one film.” And then I said those dreadful words “it’s impossible!”

Well of course, in 1974, it was true that the technology was not available, the right film maker with the right vision was not around, the actors, sets, etc. and therefore, with all that evidence I could not see how it could possibly ever happen!

Fast forward another 30 odd years, not only was it possible, it became brilliantly, stunningly real and I was there at the premiere every year for all three films!

So whenever you believe “It’s impossible!” do not let your own perspective limit your hopes! Rather than think “impossible”, change your thinking to “Maybe not possible yet” and of course “yet” could mean a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a year). It opens up your mind to believing in possibilities! 

 Sit yourself down, let your mind drift and really focus on your hopes and dreams! And believe in their possibility! Be unlimited in your thinking!! Be hopeful!!! Be present and in the now!!

So what are your hopes?  Hopefully, going on a dream holiday?  Hopefully, COVID being eliminated? Hopefully, being able to socialise again? Hopefully, landing the dream job? Hopefully, getting back to work?  Visualise! (And we can all do that because if I ask you “What is the colour of your front door” you would have to bring a picture of it into your mind to be able to tell me!)  How happy are you feeling? What great things are you seeing and hearing? Crank it up! Have fun with it!!

 Write it all down! What you are hoping for in your life? Then stick it up somewhere you can see it!! Keep it uppermost in your mind!  Play with it! Add to it!

 This will increase your belief and faith that “Anything is possible!” No matter how impossible and hopeless it may seem at the moment!

And if fear starts creeping back into your mind, you banish it with your big bold beautiful hopes!

Neale Donald Walsch an American author and speaker said “It is never hopeless, because you are never helpless.”

So when you help yourself to hopefulness you will have the energy and motivation to focus on all things positive because you have opened your mind to the hope of possibilities without a limited perspective!

And we all have unlimited perspective! It’s just that at times we don’t realise it!

When we look out on the horizon, the point where land and sky meet-how do we know there is something beyond what we are seeing? How do we know that it does not stop there?

We just know. We understand that what we are seeing is an illusion. We have no doubt whatsoever that what we see as the horizon, is due to our limited perspective of how far we can see.

We know there is something beyond, we know our vision is limited. We have an unlimited perspective of what is beyond what we are seeing!

So, if we have so much hope, faith, belief and trust that there is something beyond the horizon, even though we can’t see it, we can apply that hope, faith, belief and trust in other things we can’t physically see. We know we can because we already do it!

When we know without question, there is so much more beyond what we can see. When we totally understand we have a limited physical perspective of what is real. When we believe, completely, in the endless and limitless. How much more would we broaden our horizons of hope, faith belief, trust and limitless, endless possibilities?

Fear – Face Everything And Rise!

Hope – Have Only Positive Expectations!

And then we are truly living our lives Hope Full and Fear Less!

Article Blog, Written by Janet Wilks, NLP Practictioner and Coach.

Janet Wilks, NLP Practitioner and Coach

In these uncertain and anxious times, with all areas of business suffering the consequences of COVID19 many of us have felt the impact and many more will do through redundancy and job loss. 

The result of this can be devastating on our well- being, creating feelings of anger, stress anxiety, disbelief, a sense of guilt, uncertainty about the future, lack of confidence and self- worth. All of these feelings can have a negative effect on our health, both physically and mentally and apart from ailments and illness, can also cause lack of concentration, difficulty sleeping amongst other things and an even more severe effect such as depression. 

Of course, it is natural to go through these negative emotions when losing your job. After all it is a big part of your life! It gives you a sense of belonging, stability, a sense of achievement, financial security, routine, being part of a team, so losing that does create feelings of loss, the same feelings experienced in the break- up of a relationship or bereavement. 

And yes, it is fine to allow yourself to feel that way at first, shed a few tears, feel sorry for yourself, worry about the future, listen to all the doom and gloom stories. However, our bodies and minds are not designed to sustain all these negative thoughts and feelings and spending too long with them will cause problems! 

So how you can you change all the negative thoughts and worries that come with losing your job into positive ones so you are more able to stay fighting fit both mentally and physically? 

In NLP there is a technique called Reframing. Basically, it is a different way of looking at a situation. Seeing something in a new way, changing a point of view, so although the facts are still the same, you change perspective and see it from another angle. Recognising positive options and opportunities instead of negative problems. Listening to stories of triumph over adversity rather than stories of sinking without trace! 

When you change the frame on a painting, the painting isn’t changed but it can give it a whole new appearance!  

It’s simply saying “Instead of thinking of it that way, think of it this way!” 

So how can you reframe job loss and redundancy into a positive? 

Well you can think of it as a new start! Take stock of where you are in life! What do you really want?   

Reflect on where you are at the moment and where you want to be! Do you want a career change? Move to another part of the country? Move abroad? Go trekking up the Andes? Do something completely different? Spend more time at home? Go to college and study? Play about with this! Have fun with it!  Use your imagination!  

Think of it as a new opportunity! What about skills you might want to brush up on? Or a course you might want to do online, but have never had the time because of work! What about volunteer work you may be interested in? 

Get yourself registered with Recruitment Agencies. Update your CV with the skills and experience you have! You’ll be surprised how much you do know that you took for granted! Great for the confidence and self- esteem! 

Keep yourself fit! Walking is a great way to give you time to reflect and think about what you really want from life! 

Share your experience! Nothing is more healing than helping others in a similar situation! 

Once you start reframing in the positive, you will come up with your own ideas! Trust me! 

And to really give yourself a boost in the confidence and self-esteem department, try this little exercise. 

Write down a minimum of five things in each section below. Think about each one. It needs to be true and can be personal or work related. It’s great for confidence building, CV building and recognising your own skills. 

Things I’m good at 

Things I enjoy 

Things others like about me 

Things I like about myself 

And then to add to that identify two of your personal skills and two of your qualities that you are particularly proud of! (Skill is something learned quality is a personal trait). 

And probably one of the biggest reframes of all, as a good friend said to me, is to understand, it was not you that was made redundant, it was the role!!  You are not defined by what you do, you are defined by who you are! What you are being rather than what you are doing! Always, always remember that!!!