When Real Life trashes your Best Laid Plans We know it’s good to have a plan. I mean everything has a better chance of happening with a plan behind it. The project at work, the day trip with the kids, the diet, the exercise plan… […]
My good friend, Claire Snowdon, has had this on her vision board since 2013. Can you guess which mountain? I am helping her train for her adventure and we’ve hatched a plan! This will be The Southey Way’s inaugural adventure weekend and it’s going to be special. I’ve […]
There’s crazy and there’s crazy!
What causes a normally sane person to put a successful business on hold and start a new one?
Passion and determination, that's what!
When I started exercising it was a struggle but soon became a worthwhile and essential part of my day. My big light-bulb moment was not only the changes to my health and fitness, but the changes happening to my mind. The more I challenged myself in my workouts the more I was able to combat the negative talk in my head. I soon realised that if I pushed through when my mind was telling me to quit I could go further and achieve more. What a great feeling that is! And this started to spill out into challenges I experienced outside of the workouts. I found I was more and more capable of dealing with life’s upsets and challenges. As my body increased in strength, so did my mind and so did my confidence. Three for the price of one. Who wouldn’t want that?!
My name is Sara Southey and I set up The Southey Way to help you do this for yourself. The Southey Way is about strength of mind as well as body. The tailored strength and fitness programme enables people to look after themselves.
From my own journey (yes, I used the J word), I know how hard this can be on your own. It can be a challenge to change your mindset and your habits by yourself. When you focus on putting family and work first, it can be hard to find the time and motivation to work on YOU.
You can read more about my journey (there it is again!) at http://www.thesoutheyway.com/my-story
I am determined to help as many other people have this opportunity for a full life. My question was, how could I do this?
I looked for some way to bring this game-changing mindset to as many people as possible. I attended a Mastermind session run by Bigger Brighter Bolder. Amongst this brilliant group of people, the idea of going out to towns and running a roadshow came up. After exploring this idea we came up with the #LiftYourMind Roadshows.
The #LiftYourMind roadshows run in High Streets and Town Squares on Saturdays. The public lift everyday household objects and compare them to weights you would find in a gym. This raises awareness of how strong and fit we need to be to go about our daily lives. We add each item lifted to the Town Total.
Having run a few now, it has evolved into a Town Challenge which has created quite a lot of competitive buzz. Which Town will lift the most? I am no wordsmith, but Suzi Dixon wrote this about the roadshows which sums them up brilliantly!
Whilst people are taking part we can talk about mental health and the positive effects exercise has on our minds. We run the roadshows in aid of the charity MIND. So much valuable work and support happens through the efforts of MIND. It is a cause close to my heart.
There are six roadshows in this first phase. Thatcham, Hungerford, Newbury and Marlborough in Berkshire, then Abingdon and Didcot in Oxfordshire. Each roadshow we have run has been so much fun and different from the last, so watch out for the blogs to come for each Town’s experience!
Putting off starting exercise and finding motivation to continue exercising are two problems that go hand in hand normally. Our mind will throw up a list of excuses why exercise can be skipped or not started. Sometimes these excuses come out as I haven’t got time, or I’m too tired…
Fear of failure; fear of being laughed at; fear of not being able to do it; fear of not being good enough, not confident enough. There are many reasons people use to not exercise. These are just some. Fear is a huge mind challenge. It is there to keep us safe, to stop us putting ourselves in a dangerous, threatening situation. When fear is used to avoid getting ourselves strong and healthy, it is an issue that needs addressing. Because, logically, being fit and healthy is good for our body and mind - good for how we live our lives and the future of our life yet to come. So, logically, we should all do it. So how can we ensure that the debilitating nature of fear doesn’t stop us from getting fit and healthy?
Exercise is one of the biggest stress-relievers and confidence-boosters out there. Discovering how much your body can do, even in a short space of time and in spite of your mind often telling you that you can’t do it, is hugely empowering! Once you start and realise what YOU are capable of, it filters through to your whole life. If I beat my fear demons completing a challenging workout, imagine what else I can achieve in spite of my fears? We are not living our lives if we shy away from challenges and stay hidden inside our comfort zones. We thrive when we achieve a goal in spite of our fear of doing it. Our sense of self-worth goes through the roof and we realise that each time we challenge ourselves we live up to a little bit more of our potential. Once that realisation hits, our confidence levels increase and we start to do more and more challenging and exciting things. We start living up to the potential inside of all of us. We start living our lives fully and reaching our true potential.
Our subconscious minds know all of this. The mind knows that starting a new challenge, be it exercise or something else in our lives, has the potential to disrupt the norm and take us outside our comfort zone. So naturally, that first exploration into the new, as small as it may seem logically, is seen by our subconscious as a huge threat to our safety and it throws up fear in its many forms to try and protect us.
Easy when you see it like that isn’t it? But what can we do to ease the mind’s self-defensive strategy and convince our subconscious that actually it is better and safer for us to exercise than not?
List all the positives and benefits: Yes, actually write out a list of all the good that will come out of you starting exercise. When a negative comes in to your head, think what the positive alternative is and write that down. No matter how small the reason, write it down. Make sure each reason is worded in a positive, encouraging manner. Then read it out loud. If you hear that inner voice question the statement, have a good look at why and find the positive, reassuring answer to the question and write that down. Keep reading aloud until the inner voice is happier with the list. Then put your definitive list somewhere where you will see it often - on your phone, tablet, laptop, fridge! Anywhere you can read it regularly!
Get Support: Often, the pull of our subconscious mind shouts really loudly and is hard to ignore. Having an outside person to walk you through what will happen, guide and encourage you throughout the process, is not only reassuring to you but also helps settle your fears. Talking through the objections your mind comes up with will help clarify what you need to do to get your head in the game and move forward. For some, this is a close friend or a person you admire that is already doing what you want to do. For others, it is a fitness coach or personal trainer that can see your potential and create a programme for you to slowly move forward whilst steadying your fearful mind.
Plan: The mind loves a plan! And with a plan comes the creation of habits. In this case, good healthy habits! With a plan you can set goals of every size. Big goals that may take some time to achieve, right down to small goals that are achievable in a day, week or month. This way, you create baby steps to achieve so that your mind becomes used to the idea gradually and doesn’t feel threatened by the perceived enormity of the greater goal!
Start: Set a date, and when that date comes, take a deep breath and go for it. With some fears we have to just acknowledge it is there, remind ourselves why we are doing this fearful thing, know it will be better on the other side and then jump! Use the support you have and know that you can do it. Have confidence in your plan, follow it, and gradually that confidence will build inside you and you will believe in yourself and your ability more and more.
Don’t hide from your fear, don’t let it control what you do. Find the positive, find the support, make a plan and live your life to its fullest potential!
This is a good one! In this day and age we all have multiple calls on our time. A combination of work, spouse, children, home chores, social activities all make demands on our time.
Many of us live our lives doing what we were brought up as children to do. Following the norm, doing what is expected of us as we grow up. You know the stuff, study hard at school, get good grades, leave home, go to university, get a degree, get a proper job, meet someone, settle down, buy a home, have kids, maybe add a dog or a cat in to the mix, save to buy the nice things, a car, a holiday, find money for the broken down car or the unforeseen vets bill. The story is as old as time it seems.
And for some this is happiness. Others realise very early on that this road is not for them and they break their own trail and live a different live that doesn’t fit with the perceived norm. And this is fabulous for both of these groups of people!
But what about the ones that do what is expected for years, then one morning wake up and realise they want different? That the dreams they had as a child or a teenager could be where they want to go, what they want to do. It can be terribly scarey to change your life the older you get, the longer you’ve been doing the same. The fear grabs hold of you and your mind comes up with many and varied excuses and reasons why you shouldn’t change your path. Your mind tells you to carry on like before, doing what you have always done because that is safe and known and predictable.
But if you want your dream and want it enough, sometimes all it takes to start you on your new path is a nudge, a little push, someone who believes in you, someone you admire or who inspires you to give you the courage to be bold and take the step into the new future. And these people aren’t the ones in the newspaper, or on TV. The nudge that makes a difference doesn’t generally come from the guy we follow on youtube or the inspirational meme. More often than not it comes from people we know. The people in your everyday life that you meet at work or the gym. Friends in the pub, someone you meet at a networking meeting or someone you admire who has already pushed their boundaries and changed their life.
One conversation can change your life. That one person that believes in you, that doesn’t think you are crazy for shaking up the routine. One person that tells you that you can do it. We are all so influenced by those around us and sometimes when you are thinking of doing something new or different you can huddle in to yourself and stop talking for fear that you will not get support or people will laugh or call you crazy or tell you you can’t. But this is probably the worst thing you can do. People on the whole are generous, caring souls who love to be able to help and support.
So get yourself out there. Talk to people, tell them your passions and ideas, find out theirs. You never know what common ground you may have, how much support you can get and give. You’ll find many people who inspire you if you listen to their stories. Open yourself up and you will hear that person who’s comment or support settles in to your mind and enables you to take that first step on your new path to your happiness. Life is too short to live someone elses dreams. Don’t let the fear of change stop you. Surround yourself with family, friends and colleagues who have a positive outlook and talk to them about your hopes and fears and dreams. It will help you manage your fear of change and could easily help someone else’s fears too. You could be someone’s inspiration and change their life as well as yours!