How To Prepare For A Dragon

It’s a dragon, Jim. But not as we know it.

This is the game that life plays with us. It sends us dragons. And these dragons come to test us. Physically, emotionally, mentally.  Sometimes all three.

They can be self-inflicted, sure. But most – and the worst –  swoop in unannounced, asking questions of our strength and resolve. Often razing hard built lives to the ground.

Ah such an ‘un-virtuous’ circle these dragons create. Good days and bad days, without rhyme or reason. For me personally, my dragon wears the marque of the evil C.  There are good days. During which I am gifted an unusual sense of urgency to get things done and make things happen. But then there are the bad days.  When best laid plans get shelved. People let down. Meetings chalked off.  And worse, you don’t really want to tell the truth – as to some, an injured wolf is a poor bet – so opportunities dissolve. You fade.

Damn these dragons. But, as hard it may be, we must try and use their invasion, to learn and grow. So when a dragon snarls, what can we do to give ourselves the best possible chance? For levity, growth and survival?

Here are 10, tried and tested ways to make dragon time more bearable. No matter what form it takes.

  1. Be honest and open with those you trust. You’re being pushed into a terribly hard journey, don’t make it harder by having to duck and weave. Transparency is Light.
  2. Expand your view of what is what. Bad to be poorly, good to be alive. To share. To teach. Gratitude is oxygen.
  3. Give yourself a break and listen to your body. Biology is consciousness.
  4. Take an audit of what you can do from home. What you may do if you feel alright, and what you need to 100% put on hold. If people don’t like it, then they’re not worth your time. Or your courage.
  5. Is Money an issue? Look for help, speak to friends and family, doctors etc..the support is there. Money has two faces. Don’t assume it’s an enemy. There is always a way. Always.
  6. Stay positive and focused – if you’re relapsing, then it means you’ve beaten it once. You can do it again – but you need ‘you’ on your side. More than anyone else.
  7. Get clear. On everything – what’s worrying, what’s good, what’s odd, hopeful, scary – everything. Write it down. Talk, share and then understand where you need support.
  8. Outside of medicine, build your back up team – healers, mentors, friends. And create a physical environment that supports what you need. Make it warm. Make it healing. Safe. Honest. Supportive.
  9. And know, above all else, that everything will be ok. Everything will be ok.  You are not broken. You are simply human. And to be human is a wonderful thing.
  10. Try and embrace the dualism of life. The balance, the perfect balance that exists in all things. No one thing can exist without its polar opposite. And so we can remove labels and find the deep calm in allowing ourselves to be expressed by and through nature.

There is a time for everything. And this too, will pass.

[And breathe]

3 Steps To Identifying Limiting Beliefs

A few weeks back I kicked off a bar fight with Beliefs. Well, limiting ones anyway.

(Catch up on that post here)

FACT: almost all our trials and tribulations in life are due to the limiting beliefs that we hold about ourselves, or the world. Typically on-boarded as children without realising; compounded over time as the result of our minds desire to keep us away from danger.

This week we get into how to do something about them. Limiting beliefs can be changed and new, empowering one’s installed in their place. When they are, lives can often be completely transformed.

For this first one, I have borrowed a brilliant exercise shard by EFT specialist Andy Hunt.

Very simple and very easy to do, and if you’re committed enough, will shed a lot of light on what’s lurking beneath.

The ‘Because’ method:

Unfortunately, our limiting beliefs are often unconscious and unquestioned, a part of the fabric of our perceptions, which makes them hard to find.

Other people’s limiting beliefs can be easy to spot because we are on the outside looking in, but our own remain hidden. That’s why there will always be work for good therapists and coaches.

But what are we going to do if there isn’t a therapist or coach available?

Are we doomed to wander ignorant of our own limiting beliefs because we can’t see them?

Fortunately, there is a simple way to bring lots of limiting beliefs into consciousness using just one word. It’s a simple word, readily available and deeply familiar …

‘Because…’

When Because appears in a sentence it is usually followed by a reason:
* I can’t go out tonight because I am washing my hair (well, not me…)
* I can’t start a new business now because the economy is on its knees.
* I can’t change jobs because I am too old.
Each time you hear “because” you are going to hear a reason for the statement that comes just before it, and we can use the power of because to bring our “reasons” out into the open.

Before describing how to use Because for this, it is worth acknowledging that there are two kinds of reasons that could be uncovered:

Facts are descriptions of reality

“I am cold because it is snowing”

It is snowing is a description of the environment, people are often cold if it snowing. That’s not a limiting belief that’s a result of our external reality.

Beliefs are descriptions of our ideas about external reality (often confused with facts)

“I am alone because nobody wants me”

“Nobody wants me” is not a description of reality (even though it may be confused with one). It is a belief, an idea about reality.
The word nobody is a giveaway. There are more than 6,000,000,000 people on the planet (that’s a lot). It is impossible to know whether one of those six billion people would be interested in them. In a whole lifetime, it would not be possible to meet even a tiny fraction of those people to find out. Nevertheless, for this person, it may be a convincing idea about reality.

Is a reason a fact or a belief?

Sometimes, it can be difficult to decide if a reason is a fact or a belief. Fortunately, there is a simple test: treat it as a belief and work with it. If it is a fact it probably won’t change if it is a belief it probably will.

So how can we use because to expose our limiting beliefs?

1. Choose a problem

If you are going to uncover limiting beliefs you need a predicament to work with. If limiting beliefs cause difficulties for us which difficulty are we going to investigate?

* I can’t start a new business
* I am alone
* I can’t make enough money
* Our relationship is struggling
*etc…

So what is going on in your world that you suspect may be a result of limiting beliefs?

2. Harvest all the possible reasons

Write down a sentence that briefly describes the problem followed by the word Because:

* I can’t start a new business because …
* I am alone because …
* I can’t make enough money because …
* My relationship is struggling because …
* [problem ] because …

Now say your “because” sentence out loud, then write down whatever comes into your head that completes the sentence. Write as fast as you can and without judgement.

Say the “because” sentence again, and write down whatever comes into your head this time as fast as you can and without judgements.

Repeat this process as many times as you can, until you run out of sentences, either because you have the feeling that the well has run dry, or you find you are repeating yourself.
Important: It is essential that you put your judging mind to one side for this process. The aim here is to get as many reasons as possible, so don’t evaluate your reasons at this point. Go as quickly as you can – this allows the information to float up from your unconscious without being blocked by the analytical mind.

3. Pick the wheat from the chaff

Now we have a list of reasons we can sort through at our leisure and identify which of the reasons are limiting beliefs and which are just the random chatter of the mind.

Work through your list of because sentences, saying each out loud.

Give the reason a truth score from 0-10 where 0 is false and 10 is true (this is how true it feels, not how true it is logically).

Repeat this process for each of the reasons until you have a list of reasons that have some emotional charge.

Now you have a list of reasons (limiting beliefs) that can be worked on.

How many beliefs can I expect to find?

You could find just one or two beliefs, or you could find 10 or more. If you do find a lot of limiting beliefs don’t despair, things might not be as bad as they seem.

* At least you know what to work on: This is big a step forward from having a problem and not knowing what to do with it.

* The beliefs you uncover are probably related: This is good news, if you make a dent in a big limiting belief there is a strong chance that the other beliefs will be softened automatically.

You might only have to work through a few of them systematically to get big reductions in the others.

However many beliefs you find, all you need to do now is change them.

Happy hunting…

Do You Really Understanding Beliefs?

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Cue eye roll…

It’s amazing how many people have created such a negative, Chinese-fortune-cookie-fluff association, whenever it comes to addressing beliefs from a personal development perspective . And yet, without exception, every single one of my clients has THE most significant breakthrough whenever we get into what they really believe, and how those beliefs are contributing to their life-turbulence.

So, how much do you ‘really’  understand about your beliefs? Especially the bad and negative ones.

Negative beliefs suck

Put plain and simple, negative beliefs sit at the core of all that’s not brining us well being in our lives. What makes them worse, is that they are often formed by stealth, at a very young age and in a way that sparks a self-perpetuating cycle of cause and effect, that buries them so deep into our identity that they can be very, very hard to change.

And yet they aren’t real. They are, in many ways, the cruellest trick that nature plays on us.

Here’s why

Our brains are set up to signal, and make decisions, to avoid pain and seek pleasure and safety. When we’re young, filterless and at our most vulnerable, the events of life that play out around us, and the things we see, feel and hear, can trick us into making false associations between the two. These are what can quickly and tragically become the foundations of limiting, negative  beliefs.  Regardless of how absurd, misinterpreted and unintentional.

Here’s an Example:

Some people didn’t show up for a birthday party when you were 7 (they just got the day wrong, nothing personal).

At the time, it hurt. Terribly. End of the world type pain.

Maybe I am not likeable?” whirrs the mind. “That’s painful, we don’t want that. So we’ll start looking out for evidence to support it, and make decisions that avoid it entirely“.

And so on…

If we consider that foundational point of making an association as the trunk of a tree, what happens next is where the real problems start.

To keep you from the pain  – and so on the side of pleasure – the brain quickly wires itself up to look for ways to avoid it.  Its intention is kind and honourable, but sadly every time it does notice something, it layers the fledgeling belief with ‘supporting reference’ and starts growing roots. The more references we seek, the deeper the roots and the sharper the minds ability to notice and protect. So the cycle continues…

Beliefs = Values = Filters = Behaviour

It’s an irrefutable fact that identifying limiting beliefs, and learning how to change them is the single most self-empowering process we can go through. It’s particularly poignant to me at the moment,  not only as someone who is invested in helping people positively change but at the age of 6, my daughter is entering into her peak belief forming years (yup, it’s that young).

I’d be doing her a terrible injustice if I didn’t do my best to help her onboard some of the more empowering beliefs I wish I had taken on as a child. And that doesn’t mean overly controlling her worldview, it simply means providing a gentle layer of influence when I can on subjects such as self-worth,  money and wealth, confidence, ambition etc. whilst taking the time to interrupt and scramble any limiting tree trunks that might be forming in her delicate little head, whenever something seems to trouble her.

You might think being teased for bad breath at the age of 6, is harmless playground banter. But to a 6-year-old it can trigger something much deeper, long-term and harmful.

Taking on the fight

I take massive beef with limiting beliefs. I was guilty of eye-rolling at them myself for years until I was forced into examining my own hardwiring. Only to be horrified at what I discovered. But as a wise man once said: “Clarity precedes everything we want  to change.

So this series posts  are designed to spark a Belief Revolution, sharing best practices and my own thoughts, experiences and experiments on how to:

  1. Identify limiting beliefs
  2. Unroot them and replace with empowering ones
  3. Rewire and establish new beliefs as your defaults

It’s not an easy process. But stay committed, and it could transform your life. And no, you’re not too old.

I’d also love to hear in the comments box below, anyone else’s thoughts and information they have on the subject of changing beliefs. It’s a topic I am devoting the lion’s share of my time to this year, so all contribution will be very gratefully received.

Finally, if you are struggling with limiting beliefs and would like some one-on-one support then please send me an email to christianhburne@gmail.com. I’d be delighted to help.

The Power of The Personal Audit (have you done this?)

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Dear Self,
It’s the end of Jan, 2018.
What are you playing at?
Not much? Too much?
Not enough?
Have you taken your personal audit yet?
Then #SFA! Step back, reflect on what you know and run the audit.
Why? Clarity, alignment, focus, energy, commitment.
So here’s goes. Not everyone’s will be the same. Be brave enough to be you:
2019 Personal MO Check-in:
1. Working smart is much more of a force multiplier than just working hard and being busy. You’re not kidding anyone. Are you woking smart?
2. Are you finding 30 minutes to be still, silent and breath everyday?
3. Are you exercising for 20 minutes first thing in the morning? If not, put the phone down and get on it.
4. Once you decide to do something, anything, go all in. Don’t be the kitten with a ball of wool.
5. Procrastination is an escape mechanism for people scared to do their best work. Man-up!
6. Give people x25 of the time and value they expect. You know what happens next…
7. Don’t do it if you’re not having fun. Period. There’s too much resentment in the world as it is.
8. If you’re not scared daily, you’re not growing. Again, man-up and jump in.
9. Be the most generous, optimistic and kind person in every room you’re in.
10. Your phone is costing you your fortune. Put. It. Down.
11. When you think no-one else believes in your vision, that’s when you absolutely must stay true to that vision. Have the guts to stay in the game far longer than it makes any sense. One day…
Good job. And so to Feb.