How to make a new habit (that sticks!)

Habits are key to success. Bad habits can be your downfall while good habits can make the difference between a productive day and a lazy one wasted watching Netflix.

In the video below I take you through four research-backed steps that will help you to replace poor habits with healthier ones – and make sure they stick.

If you like the video, please visit my new YouTube channel and subscribe to be alerted when I upload new content.

With love

V x

ps. The habit tracking sheet and pledge I mention in the video can be found here.

Whose Life Are You Living?

𝕎𝕙𝕠𝕤𝕖 𝕃𝕚𝕗𝕖 𝔸𝕣𝕖 𝕐𝕠𝕦 𝕃𝕚𝕧𝕚𝕟𝕘?

𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐫𝐮𝐧𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐢𝐫 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐬, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐟𝐞𝐞𝐥 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲’𝐫𝐞 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠.

Do you feel like you’re on autopilot as you try to get through the day?

Maybe you think it’s because you’re too tired, or too stressed. But the truth is, it goes so much deeper than that.

Maybe you sometimes find yourself asking… how did I get here? This wasn’t how I had it planned.

Maybe this business and this life that you’ve built for yourself just doesn’t really feel like… well… you.

And that’s because you’re not really even living your life. You are living the life that your culture told you to live. The life that you’ve been conditioned to believe that you should be living in order to fit in and be like everyone else.

That’s the same culture (fueled by the media) that told you that you’re not good enough just the way you are.

So you’re working yourself into the ground, trying to do everything, be everything, have everything, but still feeling like there has to be more to life than this.

And to be honest, you can read all the mindset books and say all the positive affirmations, do all the restorative yoga and sit in meditation for as long as you want, but until you peel all the layers back and let the real you out, the best you’re going to be doing is surviving. Just getting through each day, instead of actually enjoying your life.

Let’s make a decision now. To do things differently. To try something you’ve never tried before.

Let’s find the real you, the person you were born to be. Not the person you thought you had to be.

Then you can start to thrive in your business and in your life.

What are you prioritising?

What are you prioritising?

So many of us put our mental and physical health at the bottom of the list of priorities, without realising they are the foundations upon which success is built.
We plough hours and hours into work at the expense of quality sleep, or eat cheap convenience food at the expense of fueling our bodies with good nutrition. Clients often say how they’ll ‘sort it out’ later, and then later I hear how they wish they’d sorted it out earlier.
If your mental health hits rock bottom, and your physical health reaches breaking point from a lack of adequate self care, then everything else that you’ve built upon it while ignoring the signs of weakening from below, will tumble.
Don’t put it off. Find some small action each day that is a little more than the day before. Walk a little further. Learn a little more about what foods serve your body and which foods harm it.
Anything more than nothing is success.
And don’t forget to have some fun while you’re at it!
What do you enjoy doing that you’re not making time for? What did you used to love, but no longer give yourself permission to indulge in? Did you put old hobbies aside because you thought you were ‘too old’ for them or worried what other people might think?
I recently received the message in several forms (In meditation, in a particularly amusing dream, in a helpful conversation with a friend) that I should dance more. While I used to get my dancing needs sated at night clubs in my younger days, those days of dancing until the sun comes up are way behind me.
But I miss it! I really do. So I’ve been putting music on in the morning, and dancing like, as the saying goes, there’s nobody watching. Except my cat and my dog are. And my son, who refuses to join in. It sets me up for the day, it gets me moving. It makes me laugh.
Seek out something that brings you joy, even if just for a moment.

If Only…

𝐈𝐟 𝐎𝐧𝐥𝐲…
 
Have you ever said “If only…”
 
If only I was smarter…
If only I was prettier…
If only I’d gone to university…
If only I’d saved more…
If only I had worked harder…
If only I had more friends…
If only I had a partner…
If only I’d had children…
If only I had said yes that time…
If only I’d been braver…
If only I’d got out sooner…
If only I… (whatever)
 
…THEN I’d be more successful.
 
Do you know, though, that these are just excuses? Deep down, do you know these are just convenient beliefs that you cling to so that you can avoid taking responsibility for what you have (or don’t have) in your life?
 
“If only” keeps you in a place of dissatisfaction.
 
“If only” keeps you seeing yourself as a failure.
 
“If only” stops you from seeing that you are the author of your own story.
 
When you are willing to give up your “If onlys” and swap them for “What’s next?” – then you can start to create your success.
 
Xx love xX

Stories of Confidence

Confidence

I get a lot of calls from women who want to work on their confidence.

I looked this word up in the dictionary (google) just now. It says: “The feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.”

In this case, ourselves. The belief that you can rely on yourself.

That you can have faith that you will do, or say, or behave in the way you want to. That your powers will be there for you when you need to call on them.

So why is it that so many of the women who call me don’t have that belief in themselves? Why aren’t they conscious of all that they are capable of?

It comes down to the stories that you are telling yourself about what is or isn’t possible for you.

Those stories are the ones that can shape your attitudes, how you show up in the world, the relationships that you create for yourself within it. With others and with yourself.

The stories that exist under the surface have the power to bless your life, or to curse it. They can bring joy, or they can bring destruction.

As women, the seeds of our stories are watered by the fully-grown narratives that are told to us by the world around us that we grow up in. The cultural messages about our worth, our position, our value, our potential.

Why is it that women frequently express that they don’t deserve their job, that they feel like impostors as they climb higher on their professional ladders? Why will men apply for jobs when they meet only 60% of the criteria, but women apply only if they meet 100%? Why do women underestimate their abilities and performance, while men overestimate both?

This story of inequality is being re-written every day, and the women I work with are taking steps to become the authors of their own new narratives.

To be a part of this, you must enquire deeply into your own personal mythology. What are the ideas that you have about who you are and what you are here for?

What is the story that you are telling yourself, and how is that impacting on your life?

Where are you acting from beliefs that were given to you long ago about your worth? Where are those beliefs trapping you in a life you want to grow beyond?

When you make decisions based on the values and stories that other people gave to you, that were never yours in the first place, you’re letting others be the authors of your life story. You have given your power away.

Its time to create a new story.

Take it all the way back. Reconnect with your imagination. Dare to dream.

Ask yourself: What story are you telling yourself that you want to change the ending to? What new story will you start to write, through the choices you make today.

Love xx

Dreading is Worse that Doing

𝐃𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐃𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠

I had something that I needed to do today. Well, really I needed to do it a week ago. But I put it off, and put it off.

And then today arrived, and I had to do it.

And once I had, it was fine.

Only it would have been so much better if I’d just done it a week ago, instead of spending all week trying to avoid thinking about it. Ignoring it tapping me on the shoulder. Pretending it wasn’t hovering around waiting for me to attend to it.

Letting the dread build up, for the inevitable moment of “doing the thing”.

And like I said. I did it. It was fine.

There’s a brilliant book by Brian Tracy, called “Eat that Frog”.

It’s a simple concept. Do the things that you don’t want to do first. Just get them done.

If you’ve got to eat a frog by the end of the day, no matter what happens, you can either spend all day thinking about it, dreading it, worrying about, and then do it. Or you can get it over with and get on with your day.

Got some frogs to eat? Go do it.

A Sacred Space

“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”

Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

A woman on her phone enquires about mindset coaching for entrepreneurs.

Self-belief and the Entrepreneur Mindset

Self-belief and the entrepreneur mindset

Self-belief can sometimes seem an elusive beast, but it has the power to make or break an entrepreneur. We can be struck by moments of confidence in ourselves, only to see that confidence wither into the shadows when the spotlight is turned directly upon us. Yet believing in yourself and what you can achieve is essential to your success, and if you struggle with doing that then it’s time to figure out what to do about it – or you risk limiting your chances to succeed.

For an entrepreneur, belief in yourself is the difference between getting up and out there every day to do what needs doing to make your business a success, or being so scared of what you might get wrong that you opt to stay under the duvet instead. It’s about trusting that you know your stuff, and that you’re capable of handling whatever challenges are thrown your way. It is also about believing that you are in control of your life and what you can create within it.

Why is self-belief important to an entrepreneur?

Calculated risk-taking is something that successful business owners are experts at. To be able to trust yourself to make a decision that could be considered risky relies on your belief in your own ability to do so. Indeed, every new business venture is a risk, as the entrepreneur is entering uncharted territory. Without being able to check in with yourself, review your past accomplishments and capabilities positively and believe that you have the ability to see your idea through to fruition, you’ll procrastinate and stagnate and ideas that had potential will be filed away and forgotten.

If you’ve got a product or a service that you’re introducing to a potential client, your greatest asset in conveying the value of the product is the belief you have in it. It’s about knowing that you’ve got something great to offer and it would be selfish for you to keep it to yourself. It’s about recognising the value of your offering and not wanting to deny people to opportunity to benefit from it.

To be able to successfully sell to potential customers, an entrepreneur must have the belief in themselves to be able to connect with and influence that person or community. We read body language and micro-expressions in peoples’ faces on a subconscious level, and our internal, unconscious judging mechanisms can tell when someone isn’t fully congruent with what they’re saying. We naturally hold back in trusting someone who doesn’t appear to be confident in what they’re talking about.

A lack of self-belief is the cause of many startup failures. If you don’t have that belief in yourself, or your product, then the defence mechanisms of the subconscious mind will step in and begin to offer you a seemingly unlimited amount of excuses as to why you shouldn’t even bother trying in the first place. This is the first hurdle that many would-be business owners fall at – “I won’t be any good at it, so-and-so already does it better anyway, so I won’t even bother trying.”

Compare that to the mindset that says: “I might not get it right first time, but I believe that if I keep trying I will get there eventually,” and it’s obvious which one will lead to most promising results. When most people try but fail in business, they go back to their normal jobs. An entrepreneur, however, will keep going.

There’s no such thing as failure, only feedback

Considering the statistic that the majority of startups will fail within the first two years, a rational person could be forgiven for steering well clear and sticking to the safe day job. For this reason, you have got to have a strong belief that what you are doing is going to make a difference, or you probably shouldn’t be doing it. Many groundbreaking products were initially and consistently rejected by investors, but became successful because of the entrepreneur’s dogged belief in their creation. Dyson vacuums are a great example. James Dyson created more than 5,000 prototypes of his vacuum. When he couldn’t find an American or European company to license and manufacture his company his belief in his product compelled him to create his own manufacturing operation. Two years later his vacuum cleaners were a worldwide sensation. Houses would be a lot dirtier these days if he’d given up easily!

If you lack belief in your product or service, then you need to question why you’re investing your time and energy (and financial resources) into it. If you’ve had a few knockbacks then you might be feeling like giving up. Before you do, though, you could benefit from investigating whether your subconscious is trying to pull you back into your comfort zone to keep you from what it sees as a potential threat (failure and possible rejection – which you’ll read later the brain equates with possible death). If that’s the case, then you can recognise it as old, primitive, fearful programming, and enjoy the stretch. Of course, this is assuming you’ve done your market research, or have a great reason for believing in the viability of your offering.

The second part in this series of blogs about self-belief and the entrepreneur will help you to understand how our self-belief is nurtured or damaged, and what you can do to boost yours. Coming soon!