Uncovering the Hidden Opportunities for Your Business

uncover-your-sites-overlooked-profit-opportunitiesI had a beautiful conversation with a beautiful soul recently who happens to live in Kathmandu in Nepal which I think is very cool that technology allows us to do this! It was our 2nd attempt after the Skype connection failed the first time, and I am so very happy we persisted and made it happen.

You see, she asked me a question that helped me see something for myself that I hadn’t really realised and it has been super helpful for my coaching practice. She asked what I had seen differently or what had changed for me and my business since realising the nature of life is inside out versus outside in.

I talked about how my coaching has been evolving and how I am seeing more and more that “being” with my clients is far more important than any information I can share with them. Now this isn’t completely new to me by any means, but it was fresh in the moment the depth to which I felt it.

People don’t want more information they can get that by using Google.

They want to be with someone who they feel connected to, who they know understands them, who has their best interest at heart and most of all, who honours them for who they truly are and not what they do, have or even the way they think.

Professional coach training teaches us to be non-judgemental and to co-create with a client and that the client has his/her own answers, but that’s not what I am talking about here. It’s much more than that and this has been evolving with the inner “work” I have been doing for me which is fascinating.

Again, no surprise there really and yet at the same time, as I said, it is.

This is not about the personal, the inner work for “me”. This is about the impersonal. It’s about recognizing the impersonal versus the personal and being able to take the personal out of the coaching. It’s about helping my clients see that for themselves too. Helping them see that when we drop the personal thinking and stop making it about “me”, then we are able to experience a freedom that’s just not available otherwise.

Coaching for me has become so much more than helping solo-preneurs get more clients and make more money. There is a richness to it that I can’t describe in words. It’s like eating a chocolate cake and then trying to explain to someone who has never had cake before what it tastes like. Delicious, mouthwatering, sweet, rich, smooth, exquisite, moreish and so on!

And when we are in that space together, so often it feels magical and magic happens! I know it probably sounds just a little far fetched, and I would agree with you unless I hadn’t experienced it over and over again recently. I am witnessing clients change before my eyes and for me that is magic. Nothing on the outside has changed and yet their world looks completely different. How can that not be magic?

Or could it be just as simple as a shift of perspective?

The answer is yes, of course (but I still see it as magical!). And the beauty of that is that once the perspective has changed then the opportunities that were always there become visible. It’s like walking around with an eye patch on without knowing it was there even though people have been telling us it is there, and then suddenly realising there is an eyepatch (the fresh new thinking), taking it off and seeing a whole lot more in the world.

And when we see more it feels like there is more potential. There are opportunities to connect to new clients. Opportunities to create new programmes or products. Potential to create and create and create! Blocks disappear because they weren’t really there in the first place! It was the patch, lol!

It’s simplicity at it’s finest! That’s why so many people miss it and that’s why I think it’s magical. It’s the blindingly obvious staring us in the face, but our intellect doesn’t want us to realize it is so simple and keeps us chasing for some new technique or tool or strategy so that it doesn’t lose it’s job of working it all out and implementing the latest and greatest tool.

So I am keeping it simple because it works and I really love being a magician, lol!

Well being is our natural state – so there’s nothing to do, yikes!

 

All human beings are looking for well being

Well, as life would have it, recenty I have been watching and listening to a lot of videos on Youtube by a spiritual teacher and mystic called Sadhguru.  One of the things I have heard him say often is that all human beings are looking for well being.  Regardless of the medium, the end result is well being.  That makes a lot of sense to me.  I often share that all human beings are looking for a positive feeling.

Think about it.  Whatever you are “doing” in life, you are essentially looking for a feeling of well being.  Well being for you could go by the name of happiness or peace or fun or pleasure.  That could look like having the ideal partner, having the latest gadget, practising yoga, going to meet your best friend for lunch, following a healthy eating plan and so on.  It all points to wanting to feel good.

Watch out!  Don’t chase it!

Well being is not a thing to chase though!  It’s actually our natural default setting.  It is not experienced because of “contaminated” thinking that we believe and so give meaning to it.

When a client recently told me she thought she was a failure because she spent so much time on the details of her work instead of just getting it out there, we talked about thought and thinking and how she was creating that feeling of failure.  Why would she want to feel like a failure?

Well obviously she doesn’t!  She wants to feel good about her life and her business.  She didn’t realize that she was giving meaning to the thinking that came along.  In fact, it felt like that was her default setting because she felt like a failure so often and really believed that her attention to detail was a failing.  It was even more believable because all her family and friends were telling her that she needed to stop being such a perfectionist and get on with getting her work out there.

When I pointed out that her attention to detail could be a strength, her face lit up.  She said nobody had ever said that to her before and the tone of the conversation completely changed.  We started to explore the possibilities and creativity and inspiration became the ingredients of the conversation versus failing and overwhelm that were present earlier on.

It wasn’t that I believed her story a.k.a. thinking about failing, it was that I knew that her state of mind was not conducive to seeing possibilities and potential.  Her well being was there, but she didn’t know it in that moment.   Plus I truly saw the gift she had and I knew it was part of her well being.  Wisdom nudged me to share that with her.  As soon as she heard me say it could be a strength, her state of mind changed and her vision expanded to seeing the potential and possibilities.

We are not nouns, we are verbs

The truth is that this is open to us at any moment in time.  Our state of mind can and does change continually.  You see we are not static.  We are in process.  We are not nouns, we are verbs.  Life is continually changing.  That’s the nature of life and that’s the nature of us as a human being, physically, mentally and emotionally.

The minute we remember this for ourselves, it opens us up to fresh thinking, to insight, to seeing something new for ourselves and we feel differently because we are thinking differently.

 

Do You Feel Like a Square Peg in a Round Hole When it Comes to Growing Your Business?

Square PegHaving been a co-organizer for a 3 day event that has just come to a close, I find myself experiencing the afterglow which is such a blissful, peaceful place to be.  There were 3 of us on the team and it really did feel like a team effort and most of all a huge success given the feedback from participants and speakers alike.

However, it didn’t feel like peace and bliss some of the time especially for me in organizing the one day in Spanish.  I had set myself the task of creating a day for Spanish speaking participants (it seemed like a perfectly logical, practical idea since we live in Spain and the event was being held in Spain and that I have been organizing events in Spain for 4 years now!)

So as the event date was approaching with just a few weeks to go and no Spanish participants, I felt I needed to take action and quickly!  So I put my thinking cap on and started reaching out to local businesses, the local town hall, local voluntary associations, plastering posters around town and so on.

Interestingly, local businesses wanted more information on the English speaking days!  I got that wrong!  The town hall did not think it was the right fit for their “needy” community!  I think they got that wrong, but on I marched!

The local voluntary association were a little more open and accepted 10 invitations for the day J  And so it went on as I handed out leaflets and pinned up posters and chatted to the locals.

What I haven’t shared, is that we had invited a very experienced Spanish speaking teacher to come and share for us and we were flying her in from California so I was having a lot of guilty thoughts about how much it was costing us (the Viva team), what will she think when there is nobody in the room, what about my team members, will they be mad at me?

And then there were the thoughts about why can’t they see what a fantastic opportunity this is?  People are flying in from all around the world to attend the English speaking days and it’s on your doorstep and you won’t even come for a day!  What’s wrong with you?  And what’s wrong with me that I can’t help you see this great opportunity and you will be oh so missing out?!

And then I stopped.  

The thought popped in to just be OK with what is unfolding.  I noticed how uptight I was feeling.  It will all be all right whatever happens.   The quote by Krishnamurti comes to mind here about the secret to his life when asked was that he just didn’t care, meaning he was OK with whatever happened.

I relaxed.  I stopped pushing uphill.

I saw how I was trying so hard to make something happen the way I had envisaged it.  I was trying so hard to make life fit my model of the world, my expectations, the story I had created in my head and it was causing me guilt, anxiety, stress.  At least my thinking about it was.  It was as if I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

I knew deep down that my team mates were not judging me.  They were absolutely fine with what happened.  It was me judging me and making up stories about what others would think and how I had failed.

Once I saw the thinking I was believing of how I thought it should be and went with what was unfolding, guess what happened?.  Well, most importantly it became a much gentler journey for me.

There was no more anxiety and stress, it appeared to have disappeared! 

And then there was the tiny miracle of a booking coming through on my phone for 2 people that same day.   Plus 2 of our friends who could not make it suddenly could!

All in all we had 18 people in the room that day.  Not a huge number, but given there were 2 participants 5 days before the event took place, that’s not bad at all plus the fact that it’s the first Spanish speaking event we have ever organized, I’ll take it as a success.

But most importantly, I knew I would be OK whether people showed up or not, whether it was deemed a success or not.  It really had no bearing on me or how I felt.

There is also the fact that we filmed the event and have that as a resource forever, and the connections made in the room and probably a whole other array of positives I have not seen yet.  Isn’t that always the way when we stop looking at something or someone the way we think it or they should be and relax?

In conclusion, I think the point of sharing this experience with you today is to highlight two important factors in our professional and personal lives:

  1. Sticking to the known ie, our expectations or models, does not leave space for recognizing the opportunities and unlimited potential available to us at all times. This could also be read as staying in our comfort zone when everything we desire lives outside of the comfort zone.
  2. Life is constantly unfolding – it doesn’t need me – if I dropped out of life today it would carry on without me! Having a “don’t care” attitude makes it a gentler journey and stops the self created suffering/struggle.

If any of what I have said here impacts you it would be lovely to hear from you, please leave a comment here on the blog.  I personally answer all comments and think it is such a learning opportunity for everyone.

The Illusion of Certainty in Business

IllusionThis week I did a free session with a lovely lady who really wants to create a business model that serves both her and her ideal clients. She has a beautiful vision and an obvious passion to make a difference in the world.

There were a few blocks that she could see to her bringing this vision into the form. One of them, and a very common one, was the uncertainty of what might or might not happen.  Would she get the clients?  Be able to fulfill her end of the bargain?  Make the money? In other words, be successful?

As we explored her vision at first, it was difficult for her to stay out of the “known”, all those familiar reasons why something doesn’t seem possible. You may recognize some of them:

  • not enough time to do it
  • not enough money to do it
  • not got the skills to make it happen,
  • not got the patience
  • Lack of confidence
  • Is it a good enough idea?

As she talked about the reasons why something she wanted wasn’t possible, it brought up for me the image of a brick and then as she judged each belief as good or bad it felt like she was cementing them together and creating her own self imposed walls. These bricks (her beliefs/ideas) were literally being cemented into place by her own judgments. In other words, it was he own engagement with them that was making them appear real.

It’s so innocent. 

We identify and give power to arbitrary thoughts and then have the experience of being stuck or overwhelmed or confused and so on.  Somehow we miss the fact that we are innocently buying into this illusory self created “prison”. The prison could translate into our feeling stuck or confused or overwhelmed or whatever tight feeling we experience.

We mistakenly think the tight feeling is because of an outside experience such as our bank balance being low, or the lack of clicks on our website, or a diminishing client list.  None of it is true.

Our feelings never come from the circumstances or other people. They are always coming from our own thinking.  In fact, thought and feeling are 2 sides of the same coin. They can never be separated.  So when we are feeling anything we are actually just being reminded that thinking is happening. Nothing else.

Isn’t that a relief?

That means we don’t have to change anything whatsoever. It means we don’t have the job of controlling the outside to make us feel better.   Whew!

We have never been in charge and never will be. If that doesn’t sound true to you, think about the fact that you can’t stop breathing if you want to!  Something is breathing you, you are not in charge.

Our only “job” is to enjoy the ride – whether that takes us up or down – taking our hands off the steering wheel won’t make any difference because we aren’t steering the car anyway :)

Give it a go!   Let go of the wheel and once you stop worrying about what’s going to happen because you are not in control, notice if once your thinking calms down if you have that feeling of peace and calm that you truly want to feel.

I’d love to hear how you get on. Please drop me a line or post on the blog.

What Every Coach/Practitioner Should Know About Marketing

Marketing is a word, a label for something, that’s all.

So why does it drum up so much anxiety or disdain in people? WebinarMark

Well, that’s an interesting question.

A friend shared this on Facebook a couple of days ago and I shared it because it really impacted me and illustrated my point so clearly.

“The same boiling water that softens potatoes also hardens eggs.  Everything depends on what you are made of, not your circumstances”

To me, this means that what is happening around us, including the term “marketing”, has absolutely nothing to do with the way we feel.   This thing we call “marketing” cannot illicit feelings from us any more than a table or a chair can.  And yet it appears to evoke fear, angst, hate, frustration, irritation and lots more negative adjectives for so many.

If I had a penny for every person who has told me they don’t like marketing and/or sales, I’d be a very rich girl!

It’s not the marketing that causes us to feel uncomfortable, it’s the way we think about marketing.  Most heart centred practitioners who struggle with marketing think it has to be done in a way that goes against the grain hence the uncomfortable feelings.

When I introduce the idea of service and bridge building, they start to soften a little, see things differently.  Something begins to shift and they see how they can do this thing called “marketing” in a way that is authentic and in alignment with their core values.

I talk about it in terms of bridge building. 

The way I see it is that it’s our responsibility as the service provider to let our ideal clients know we exist.  We know something or have something that can really help them, but they don’t know about us yet.  To use a metaphor ……….. Building a bridge from our side of the river to their side of the river means we can now connect.  Whether that means they walk over to us, or us to them, or we meet halfway, doesn’t really matter.  All that matters is we have given them the opportunity for us to connect and help them in whatever way works.

It’s the same with sales.  The old adage of “sales is not something you do TO someone but FOR someone” really speaks to us being of service just as bridge building is of service.  If we can see that we are being of service by sharing what is possible for our clients versus trying to convince them of something or hound them in some way, it creates a whole different feeling.

You see we are so driven by our feelings and that’s why it’s so important to understand where they are coming from.  Once we wake up to the fact that it’s not the marketing or the sales that are evoking the uncomfortable feelings we are dealing with the door has opened for new possibilites.

Our feelings are beautiful gifts letting us know whether we are seeing life as it truly is – how it works from the inside-out.  Any sign of discomfort reminds us that we are looking in the wrong direction and to look within.

Thought and feeling are two sides of the same coin

If we are looking to our circumstances to change our feelings we are looking in the wrong direction – the outside.  So when it comes to marketing and we feel uncomfortable, don’t blame the marketing!  Here comes another metaphor …………… It’s like saying it’s your neighbour’s fault that you burnt your dinner when he was sitting watching tv on his sofa!  You smelt the burning and went round and knocked on his door to tell him your dinner is burning!  That sounds like a crazy thing to be doing, but it’s no different from blaming the term “marketing” for your uncomfortable feelings.  “Marketing” was just sitting there perfectly innocently, minding his own business, watching the tv!

You can see the absurdity of that I hope.  And yet we don’t see the absurdity of blaming our feelings on the outside world so much of the time.  I know there are times when we can clearly see we are causing our own discomfort, but most of the time we don’t and that’s what causes us to suffer so much and start trying to change the outside world.

And so, I am rooting for this thing we call “marketing” here in this article!  Please give “marketing” a break.  He didn’t do anything wrong!  He’s just being “marketing” and you can think about him as you please, but please don’t blame him for your feelings of discomfort, that’s thought being thought!

How Being Authentic Bit Me in the Behind!

TwistWhen I learned about the inside out nature of life via the understanding of the Three Principles as uncovered by the late Sydney Banks, I was really keen to share this with my clients, but I didn’t know where to start.  I put it off for a long time myself and interviewed lots of seasoned teachers thereby bringing the understanding to my community and clients in the best way I knew how.

Then one day I received a call from somebody I knew who I will call Clara. Clara wanted to employ my services to help her with a drinking problem. She contracted my 3 month package and she would be coming to see me in person and would bring the full payment with her on her first appointment.

I decided that this would be my first client who would receive inside out coaching from me (the Three Principles understanding). I prepared well – I had my book by Sydney Banks called the Missing Link – I listened to lots of classes by really good teachers, made my notes and rehearsed what to say.  I was good to go.  Or so I thought.

Clara arrived and I explained to her that I was going to be doing things slightly differently from my normal coaching practice and that all she had to do was “listen for a feeling” and she would know whether it was right for her or not. I told her that this was a much more impactful way of coaching and the results were phenomenal with all types of clients all around the world and the best of it was, she didn’t need to do anything but sit back and relax and listen for that feeling.

I had heard enough teachers say that – I shared the metaphor of listening to my words as if they were music  – I did a good job of that bit. Then I went on to reading from the book and explaining plus I shared stories and metaphors I had heard other teachers share. She sat back as instructed and listened.  A couple of times during the 90 minute session she asked me a question and let me know she wasn’t feeling anything.  I assured her that it was fine, she could just relax and she would hear and feel something.

Not quite what I had hoped for

So at the end of the session, when I asked her what she felt, she hit me with it!  She said her gut feeling was that this wasn’t going to work for her. She reminded me I had said listen for a feeling and her feeling was that she didn’t feel anything for what I had shared and was looking for tools that would help her stop drinking. If I wasn’t going to do that with her then she didn’t want to work with me.

A smack in the face

Authentically, I could say nothing to her to try and persuade her any other way because I had told her to follow the feeling! I had just blown a 3 month contract by trying to share something intellectually and not from my heart. I wasn’t listening to her because I really wanted her to hear how life works from the inside out and believed if she could just grasp that, her drinking problem would dissolve easily.

I had way too much on it in terms of it having to be the way I wanted it to be. I was trying to convince her of something, trying to show her I had something she didn’t have, I was the all knowing teacher and she was the student.  I felt I had to teach her something and it was not coming from my heart, it was coming from my intellect.

So being authentic I had to let her go her own way. I knew in my heart I wanted to share the Three Principles understanding and if that didn’t feel right to her at that moment, to stay in integrity I felt it was right to say so.  So she left to seek another coach who would help her in a way that fitted for her.

On reflection, I could easily have stayed in integrity by explaining what had happened, but I didn’t really see it at the time. Now I know that teaching in the moment through my own personal feelings, mistakes and stories is what really impacts and helps people. Back then I didn’t know that. I thought I was the teacher  and it would be wrong to show her my own vulnerability.

My point, if you haven’t grasped it through the story, is that it is far more impactful and helpful to a client, or anyone for that matter, that you share what you know to be true for yourself without a shadow of a doubt versus trying to share what you have learned intellectually and might sound clever. In my experience, it is this that awakens something in another person – it is as if by magic!

How to Step out of Your Comfort Zone Effortlessly

Comfort-zoneI remember years ago being part of a group trip and stopping for a picnic.  The organizer shared some crisps and then took a bite of one.  She looked at me and said “Mmmmm, aren’t crisps just heavenly?”

Back then, I was totally in my head and wondering why this woman was getting so excited about a crisp!  And I replied with something like “don’t you normally eat crisps then?” to which she replied very kindly “yes, I do”, smiled and moved on to chat with someone else.  I just didn’t understand why someone who eats crisps regularly could get so excited about eating them.

Fast forward to today and I totally get it.  In fact, I can hear myself saying the same sort of things to my kids and they look at me as if I am strange!

It wasn’t long ago I started to understand this “experiencing things for the first time over and over again”.  It’s almost childlike and yet children seem to have the most fun in the world and are extremely creative.

They also seem to have little care as to whether they succeed until they start learning about the importance of it at school or home.  That’s when the innocence and willingness to explore beyond their “comfort zones” seems to start waning.

So what is the true definition of this thing we hear called the “comfort zone”?

Here’s my description.

It’s a metaphor for everything we know or think we know.   Everything we think we know to be true gives us the feelings of certainty and safety hence the term, comfort zone.  Everything we want and could know is outside of that space.  The freshness of life lies outside of this comfort zone.  The infinite formless power that creates everything is available to us in the metaphorical space that lies outside of that miniscule comfort zone of what I know and what I think I know!  Yessss!

So going back to my crisp story …….. I see now that when I heard the organizer voice her excitement about the crisp, I was living in “what I know” about crisps.  I was re-living the same old story of crisps (my comfort zone) and not appreciating the freshness of life available to me every moment of the day.

Imagine that!  I was forgetting the gift of life every moment of the day and just seeing through the glasses of “I know”.  You may recognize yourself here (wink, wink)?

Now I want to clarify something before I continue.  I absolutely don’t see the miracle of life in every moment of everyday – I would be lying to you if I said I did, but I am very, very grateful for the moments when I do and to have the experience of it and know it’s available to me at any given moment, just as it’s available to you at any given moment.

It’s like being a child in a sweet shop!  Delicious!  Fun!  Exciting!  Full of possibility and opportunity!

And that’s my point here.  Life is full of possibility.  Endless possibilities.  It’s blindingly obvious when we insightfully see it!  The infinite formless power is available to each and every one of us 24/7.  All we need is the one thought that will show it to us.  And that doesn’t live in the land of our comfort zone if we haven’t seen it yet and we can’t conjure it up either.

When we are willing to recognize that “I know” is blocking us and keeping us in our comfort zone, the world can look like a very different place.  And once the world looks different, we tend to show up differently and opportunities that were always there become visible to us.  All this because we took off the metaphorical glasses of the “I know”.

Could it really be this simple?

Try it.  Play with it.  Test it out.  Don’t take my word for it.

I’d love to hear your experience of playing in the “unknown”.  What do you feel?  Drop me a line at sheela@sheelamasand.com or leave a comment on the blog.

Do You Know Where to Start in Growing Your Business?

WhereToStart“I just don’t know where to start”

This is one of the common answers I hear having asked the question – how can I help you?

So in my business, practitioners are coming to me to help them grow their businesses/practices which generally means they need clients.  They are heart centred service professionals and the fact that you are part of this community, I imagine you are one of these too and can relate.

You may have just the same question too.

Where to start?

Well, there are no hard and fast rules as far as I am concerned, but one of the most helpful places to start is to ask yourself WHY?

The big why.

The reason you took that training and paid all that money and spent all that time.   What inspired you to do that?

My guess is that it is because you experienced some type of transformation in your life and so you want to go and share that with others because it has been so life changing for you.  It might be a health issue, a relationship struggle, a financial challenge or a mental/emotional situation.  Whatever it is, I encourage you to write it down and dig deep.

This is the fuel for your journey of growing your business.  At least it’s one type of fuel I know of that works.  When you really dig into your big why, your reason for embarking upon the road less travelled (not the traditional job route), you will feel the inspiration and the next step ie, where to start, will most likely reveal itself to you.

There are a couple of reasons I see why this happens.

  1. As you explore the question ….. WHY ….. your thoughts are changing and so are your feelings.   Generally this leads to feelings of inspiration as you uncover the reasons why.
  2. You will feel more connected to the Source/Universe/God as old habitual thinking of overwhelm or confusion drop away. This leaves space for new thoughts to emerge and the first step to be seen.

Ever feel like giving up? 

Your big why is what will keep you going in times you feel like giving up, that’s why it’s so important to write it down and keep it somewhere you can refer to when required.   We all have those times we feel like throwing in the towel.  Yours might sound something like:

“I’m just not good enough”  ……or

“nobody will ever work with me” ………..or

“why do I keep struggling when I could just get a job?”

This is completely “normal” and normal in this context means you are not the only one!  I speak to lots and lots of solo-preneurs who feel like giving up many times over and yet something keeps them going (most of them anyway).

They remember WHY they chose to do their “thing” whether it’s coaching, massage, teaching, homeopathy or creating dream weekends for people.  Quite often they remember how it felt to them to not have the solution to the problem they had and if they hadn’t found that particular service, their lives would not have changed.

Remembering the big WHY is what gets most practitioners jumping out of bed in the morning and raring to take action.

Me too!

Here’s a little of my BIG WHY shared with the intention of helping you get yours written.

I love to help people who love to help people!  I love knowing that for each person I can support with their work, there is a ripple effect through the work they are doing and so it goes on rippling out in the world.  I also know that what I do is not just about business.  My work helps on a very personal level too and that ripples out within a person’s personal life too.

My aim through sharing the understanding of the Three Principles is specifically to help end unnecessary human suffering.  As I watch and listen to what is happening in the world, I quite often question us as a species, why do human beings cause so much destruction and pain and how can I help to change it?  I always come back to the same answer.  The reason I see that this is happening is because of a simple misunderstanding.

When I hear stories of young girls being sold into prostitution, my heart is so heavy it hurts and I ask why again.  Why would one human being do this to another human being?  What is wrong with them?  And then I remember again.  The misunderstanding.  That’s WHY I do what I do.

So if I can help in some way to open people’s eyes to the misunderstanding and point them in the direction of how it all works, then that’s what I want to do.

That’s what I am doing and that’s what keeps me going when I feel like it’s all too much or too little, or that little voice tells me I’m just not good enough at what I do.

So what’s your BIG WHY?

I encourage you take 10 minutes to uncover it. Please don’t underestimate the power of knowing your BIG WHY, it really can reveal your next step to growing your heart centred business.

I’d love to hear your BIG WHY.  Please share with the community either on the blog knowing that this inspires others, or if it’s not for public consumption, send me a private message by hitting reply to this email.

How to Gain Self Confidence – part 2

confidenceIn part 1 I explored the definition of confidence via the Oxford dictionary and honed it down to be about belief and feeling.  I also highlighted that feelings are pointers to the fact THAT we think and not personal to us.  You can catch up with the first episode here

So in part 2 we are going to be looking at the fact that confidence is innate.  Now for some people that might sound like a very bold statement and I guess that it is if you don’t understand the simple principles that underlie the operating system of the human mind.

To others it might sound really obvious and true.  And then to others it might sound really hopeful – I mean if confidence is innate then that means I don’t have to go out and get it, right?

Well, yes, that’s true.  There is nothing to go out and get, or create or work on.

The sun and the clouds

Allow me share an age old metaphor, one of my favourites, the sun and the clouds; the sun is always there for us even when we can’t see it or feel it’s warmth.  We know that it’s there, it’s a fact.  The only reason we can’t see it or feel it is because it is covered up by clouds.

This is exactly the same for us with confidence.  It is there for us all the time but for the thoughts that we have that hide it from us (the clouds).  If you think about a baby learning to walk, she doesn’t worry about whether she has enough confidence to take a step, she just does it, and when she falls, she gets back up again and tries again.  No thought clouds getting in the way for her.

This thing we have called confidence is truly innate

In fact, as I write about it here I wonder if it’s even a “thing”.  It feels very much like we have packaged up this “thing” we feel is missing when things aren’t going our way or we find ourselves not being able to take action on something and say it’s because of a lack of this “thing”.  I will leave you to ponder on that one!

Confidence is our default setting

Going back to the innateness of confidence – it is ours by birthright – it is our default setting.   How wonderful is that?  It means that we can never lose it and once our thinking settles down and we allow ourselves to experience our natural (default) state, confidence naturally arises.

Imagine a snow globe.   Once we stop shaking it and allow the snow to settle, we experience the clarity of the scene.  This is just the same for us mentally and emotionally.  Once we allow the thoughts about lack of confidence to settle or even the noticing of them as thoughts, as if by magic, we return to our natural state which includes that feeling of confidence.

So if we are looking outside of ourselves to gain more confidence, then we are definitely looking in the wrong direction.   Yes, doing something over and over again ie, practise, allows us to feel more confident, but what is actually happening is that we are having different types of thoughts about the thing we are practising and therefore different feelings as explained in part 1.

Have you ever spent an amount of time looking for your sunglasses only to remember they are on top of your head or hanging around your neck?  I know I have!  This is just the same as looking for confidence all around you only to realize you had it all along if only you remembered that fact.

If this doesn’t sound feasible then I ask you to experiment for a moment or two.  What would happen if I asked you to drop all your beliefs and judgments about yourself and anyone or anything else, what’s left?   Go on, give it a go just for a moment.  What’s left when there is no judgment and no belief?

That’s the neutral ground or our innate health – nothing can touch this or affect it in any way.  This is where you can experience the confidence (if it exists) that is your birthright.

The only thing stopping us feeling confident is the thinking we have that says any different and a new thought is possible at any given moment.

For example, I used to have the thought that I hated the gym and then one day last year, I had the new thought “maybe it’s time to start the gym.  I’ll just go and check out the local one and see how I feel about it.”  So off I trotted, liked the feel of it and the lady who runs it and found myself signing up as a member.  This was huge for me since I had hated the idea of going to the gym for years, and now I love it!

What changed?

I had a new fresh thought.  It changed  my experience totally.  This is available to us as human beings all the time.  All the time.  No exceptions.  Anyone is capable of having a fresh new thought at any time and that means experience can change at any time including the fact that we may not feel confident.

So, the bottom line is that this thing called confidence is innate and is our default setting.  The only thing stopping us feeling it is when we forget the fact THAT we think and so buy into any and all thoughts, beliefs and judgment.

If something resonates with you here and you would like to explore this thing called confidence, please drop me a line at Sheela@sheelamasand.com and we can have a chat about it – complimentary of course!

How to Gain Self Confidence

confidenceThis week I have had many interactions on email and in conversation with people citing confidence as being their biggest struggle in growing their business.  They have either stated:

“I have a lack of confidence”

“I want to feel more confident”

“I just don’t have the confidence I need to ……….(fill in the blank)”

So here I am, following my own advice, and offering a solution to my ideal client’s number 1 struggle hoping that it will serve you too on some level.

Let’s break this down.

What is confidence?

I went to the Oxford on line dictionary to get the “formal” definition of confidence as a reference point and to make sure we are all on the same page here.  So here’s what I found:

CONFIDENCE:  The feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.

OK, so how do they define faith?

FAITH: Complete trust or confidence in someone or something

Now I need to see their definition on trust:

 TRUST: Firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something

Great.

Now we are starting to see the commonalities.

Belief and feeling.

Let me address belief first of all.

A belief is the term we give to a bunch of thoughts.  So in effect, it is a label or description as are all words really!

Thoughts are created via the Principle of Thought and are in effect arbitrary.  So the thought or belief of “I need to have more confidence” is completely neutral until we give it meaning.

What would happen if we decided to make that thought a “good thought”?

What if a lack of confidence was a good thing?

Perhaps it is in some societies just the same as burping out loud is a compliment to the chef in India and in the UK it is frowned upon.  Same thought “he burped out loud” and then depending on culture, the next thought could be “that’s nice” or “that’s rude” and either thought will come with a feeling – comfortable or uncomfortable.

So now I am addressing feeling.

Feelings and thoughts are 2 sides of the same coin.  Every feeling is created via thought.  No feeling stands alone, it is always, 100% of the time coming from thought in the moment.

Now that doesn’t mean we have to go hunting for the thought or the belief, sometimes and very often, they are unconscious.  All we need to know is that the only place feelings come from is thought in the moment.

So if confidence is based on thoughts and feelings according to the Oxford dictionary definition, and thoughts and feelings are arbitrary, then perhaps there is absolutely nothing to worry about or at least nothing to take seriously?

What do I mean by that?

I mean that we have no control over our thoughts – they come and they go created via the Principle of Thought as is everything.  If that doesn’t make sense to you, ask yourself what you will be thinking in 5 minutes time.  You don’t know and neither do I unless I focus all my attention on an affirmation or mantra or something similar and it looks like I am in control, but the moment my focus wanders, I am back to arbitrary thoughts.  So in essence we have no control over what we think, ie, the content of our thinking.

That means we have no control over our feelings.

Now at first glance that can appear scary, but stay with me on this.   Once we insightfully understand that our feelings are just an indicator of thought in the moment and have no understanding of us or attachment to us, or our circumstances or the future, then we can relax and accept them for what they are pointing to …………………

The fact THAT we think.

We live in an inside out world where experience is created 100% from the inside out.  Our whole experience of the world is a projection rather than a movie.  We are not passively watching a movie that has been created by someone else, but at a projection that has been created by us.    You can see a mentor of mine, Michael Neill, speak about this on a Ted talk: http://youtu.be/xr6VawX2nr4

So feeling a lack of confidence is a self created projection.  It’s not something real.  Of course, this points to our whole experience of life as not being “real”.

So is it really as scary as we experience it to be?

All depends.

We all have free will on some level.  When we truly understand how life works – it’s a projection or an illusion as some people call it or a hologram as others describe it.   When we are awake to this fact then nothing is impossible and confidence is just another illusion as is lack of confidence.

Most of humanity spends most of it’s time asleep to the fact THAT we think and that our human lives are projections and so we get caught up in the illusion of a lack of self confidence.  We are tricked by the illusion because it seems so real.  Thank goodness it does because if we didn’t think it was real it would be a very boring experience just as if we went to the movies and we were aware the whole time that it is just a movie and the actors are playing a role and the blood is just tomato ketchup!  I find it really helpful if I do get scared watching a movie to remind myself that it’s just a movie, but most of the time I love getting lost in the experience of the movie being real.  I can fall in love with certain characters, dislike others, wonder why they aren’t behaving in certain ways, and so on.

So what’s left when we see through the illusion?

Well, since this article has already gone on longer than my norm let me save the rest for next time.

That’s the really cool part – your innate confidence – it’s your birthright and something that awaits you always.