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BUILDING SNOWMEN

BUILDING SNOWMEN

HOW TO'S

CONSCIOUSNESS & BUILDING SNOWMEN

 

I wanted to share my week with you as if you’re having a similar one it might help.

Because I’ll be honest this week hasn’t been great for me; I’ve felt pretty down, stressed, anxious, unhappy, confused and frustrated, not in that order and not all the time, but some of the time and sometimes all at once.

Now it’s very easy when you get in this low level of consciousness (call it mood, mindset or whatever feels best for you) to start looking outside of yourself for reasons why you feel that way.

And to be honest that’s exactly what I’ve been doing, depending on the hour these feelings looked like they were being caused by the weather, my lack of motivation, all the workload I’ve taken on, a tricky re-edit section of my book, a prospective client who seemed like a hell yes, but disappeared after I sent him the invoice – or my bank balance, or the looming Christmas expense, or 1000 other things.

But the thing is, it wasn’t any of those things that made me feel this way. Sure I was tricked into believing they were the cause – but really, if ALL those things were the cause, why did they only look like they were some of the time? And when you really sit and think of it, how can the weather make me feel anything?

If it had those powers the country would grind to a halt on a rainy day. Manchester especially would crumble to dust…

 

So what was the variable? Well, as always the missing link was my thinking, it wasn’t what I was looking at that made me feel anything, it was the thought glasses I’ve been looking through all week.

 

And the thing is we can never ever control our thinking, despite what some might have you believe. And our feelings are always the flipside of our thoughts. And to try and work out the cause of the feelings by looking outside of us means we just get more and more caught up in our stressful thinking and make ourselves feel worse.

But here’s the thing, whilst I always know this on an intellectual level, I still often get tricked into thinking its things outside of me causing me pain. And when I get tricked this way I go into victim mode, I go into blame mode. My consciousness lowers and I find it even harder  to get out of the spiral of crappy thinking.

I knew this too, but I was still tricked by it, like we all are. It all looked really real to me.

But all that was happening was I was getting really caught up in my personal thinking, looking for blame and creating things out of nothing and making them look really real to me.

So from feeling glum I went outside of myself to look for answers, and this had me start to build a snowman of thought. And the more I built the bigger and more real he looked.

I kept piling on more and more thoughts, forming the nose, the coal for eyes, until my idea of what was real for me took form. I could see it – THIS was the cause of my mood, this thing I had given form to in my mind, this snowman, who just needed a top hat of self-doubt and a scarf of insecurity to finish him off.

But when you catch yourself in this situation and start to see that this is just a snowman of form that you have created yourself, it means you are more able to step away, to allow it to thaw away…

And like a snowman it might take a few days for the ideas to fully thaw away, they might slowly slump down, the scarf falling away, the carrot wilting, getting smaller and smaller….but it will thaw, it will clear again. If you let it.

Because what we normally do is keep packing more and more snow onto the snowman, to keep him alive and sturdy in our minds. Something big and real we can look at. And this just perpetuates this thought form, sometimes forever. But you built it. It isn’t real. It just looks real.

You can be even luckier and not have to wait long at all for your snowman to thaw. This happened yesterday for me.  Sit with someone you love, allow yourself to laugh despite the frustration, allow yourself to get really present and in the moment, open yourself up to life, stop being so clenched up around your ideas of yourself.

 

When you do this your consciousness (mood, energy, mindset) can’t help but raise. When you do this your mind can’t help but clear a little. When you do this those thoughts start to thaw like the snowman.

 

And when you allow your mind to clear you allow NEW thinking to appear. New thinking that comes from your inspiration, and creativeness and wisdom. Thinking that might take you off on a whole new adventure.

Because here’s the thing, it’s OK to build Snowmen. It’s fun even. But when we start to believe Snowmen are real, or that they mean anything about us or our lives that’s when we get stuck, get into trouble and stay unhappy.

And apologies if I’ve confused the metaphors a bit here but I hope you get the gist of what I’m saying. The meaning isn’t in the words really, it’s in the insights that I hope this might stir in you.

Much love

Matt

Stressful thoughts are none of your business.

Stressful thoughts are none of your business.

HOW TO'S

Stressful thoughts are none of your business.

 

I just got back from the gym, and it’s the first time I’ve been in over a week. I normally go 3 times a week so it got me thinking about what that means.

Then I stopped. And I chuckled to myself.

Because the thing is, for whatever reason I’ve been in a bit of slump this week.

And in the past I would have made this slump, this low mood about me, I’d have gone all up in my head and blamed myself, labelled myself as lazy, as a procrastinator. As someone who doesn’t stick to things.

And do you know what happened when I did that? I’d feel even more crappy, and it would make me not want to go even more.

But thankfully, since I discovered the 3 principles and really started to understand the truth behind how the human experience works I don’t bother with all that pointless personal thinking.

Sure there’s no way around it, I have been in a low mood this week, but whereas in the past I’d be now blaming myself and telling myself all sorts of stories about why I’m in this mood; it’s me, my lack of motivation, or it’s my business, my wife, the fact that its cold out….

 

But all that would do would get me more stuck, more unhappy, less present and less likely to do it.

 

But flick forward to now and I know my moods are just like waves. They’re energy that ebb and flow inside me. They don’t mean anything about anything.

And the only way to reset, to get back to feeling better again is to simply – let your system settle. And to not mess with it while it does.

Because here’s the thing; all have a psychological immune system that will reset if we let it.

But just like if you cut your finger and then rub it every ten minutes, it won’t heal – when you mess with it, by piling loads of stressful thinking and looking for reasons ‘why’ – it isn’t allowed to reset. It stays busy, creating loads more thoughts that take you further and further away from your centre.

I know it looks like its counterproductive, and as humans we want answers, we want to work out why we feel bad/unproductive etc. – but really that’s just like trying to grab at clouds.

Think of your moods like a muddy puddle, because actually that’s how our minds can feel when we’re stressed, anxious, questioning ourselves – but this muddy puddle always has the capacity to be clear, to be settled, to be calm. But the only way it does so is by being left, by being allowed to clear.

So if currently you’re feeling like a muddy puddle, today be kind to yourself, stay present, try and remember that the answers will come, that you will return to feeling better, if you allow the system to reset.

Take a deep breath, smile, be in your body. And wait.

A good feeling is only one new thought away.

 

 

What are the 3 Principles?

What are the 3 Principles?

HOW TO'S

What are the 3 Principles?

 

Up until recently I’ve not really talked about the 3Ps in relation to my coaching. Despite this understanding informing all the work I now do with clients it hasn't been anything I was that overt about.

Perhaps this was because I was relatively new to this way of showing up as a coach, perhaps I never really thought it was important.

But the more deeply I understand these principles, the more I want to share them fully, the more I want to help other people see their amazing potential for success, freedom and peace of mind. In starting to speak about them more I hope to help people who are unaware of this understanding see just how life-changing it can be.

Because I don’t throw those words around lightly. I know we see that sort of rhetoric all the time, especially with coaches and self-help stuff, but really, there is no rhetoric or hyperbole here (weeell, maybe a teeny bit - but that's just my writing style!)

You see, since I became involved in the 3 principles and have deepened and deepened my understanding of them, my life has 100% changed for the better. No hyperbole.

I am calmer, less stressed, happier. My coaching business has really taken off. I've finished the novel I've been wanting to write.

More so though - I'm full of joy, I find myself chuckling to myself often, walking around with a silly grin on my face. Its made me a much more giving and - hell, I'm going to say it - nicer person.

I know how powerful this work is - so I don’t have to hide behind anything, or try and impress anyone.

I know how impactful my work is with clients now that I don't need to push. Its made me feel more connected, more carefree, less needy, less concerned with what people think of me and so much more creative, and open to new ways of seeing things.

what are the 3 principles

 

These 3 principles really are a revolutionary new paradigm in psychology, with far reaching benefits not only for success and well-being on a personal level, but in leadership, business, and even for the future of humanity.

In short the 3Ps are laws that explain how we experience life, the foundation elements of the human experience :

Mind

Consciousness

Thought

Of course these words are just metaphors for something beyond explanation in some ways, and could just as easily be; Intelligence, Awareness and Creativity. (Don’t get hung up on the words, they aren’t that important.)

Because while those words mean different things to different people, the principles they point to have actually been observed, written about and studied in science, philosophy, and religion throughout the ages.

The 3ps describe the fundamental dynamics operating in everyone’s minds at all times, and are what many believe now to be fundamental principles of psychology. A principle being a fundamental source or basis for something – in other words they're not theories. They aren't a "technique" that can be taught but instead a paradigm that comes to be understood at increasingly deeper levels.

Nor are the Principles a method, a model or a practice. They are not like other coaching or therapy approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which help people reframe their thinking in order to feel better. They are an understanding that helps people access their own innate health by understanding how the fundamental mechanics of the human experience works. As people generalise this knowledge to the rest of their lives they start experiencing more ease, joy and fulfilment.

what are the 3 principles

 

So we know what they aren't - what are the 3 principles?

At the heart they deal with one simple truth; that 100% of your experience of life is created from inside you.

Despite it not always seeming this way, the only way the human experience can unfold is from the inside-out. No exceptions. The system only works one way.

And the clarity of our seeing that underpins the way we handle absolutely every situation in our lives.

The 3 principles were first discovered and described by a man called Sydney Banks, a Scottish man with a basic education. A welder by trade. At the time, no one remarkable.

But what Syd saw one day literally changed everything for him and as he deepened his exploration of this new paradigm he began to share his world-changing discovery with others.

 

Here’s how he introduced them in his book The Missing Link:

The Universal Mind, or the impersonal mind, is constant and unchangeable. The personal mind is in a perpetual state of change. All humans have the inner ability to synchronize their personal mind with their impersonal mind to bring harmony into their lives.

Consciousness is the gift of awareness. Consciousness allows the recognition of form, form being the expression of Thought… Mental health lies within the consciousness of all human beings, but it is shrouded and held prisoner by our own erroneous thoughts. This is why we must look past our contaminated thoughts to find the purity and wisdom that lies inside our own consciousness.

Thought is the creative agent we use to direct us through life. Thought is the master key that opens the world of reality to all living creatures. Thought is not reality; yet it is through Thought that our realities are created.

 

This new discovery contradicted many traditional notions and practices of psychotherapy. Specifically, that for mental wellbeing, it is not important to process the past, nor that the content of peoples' personal thought systems had to be worked with, controlled and analysed.

These 3 Principles work in unison and explain every experience, from joy to despair. Knowing this enables one to make wiser choices and to live a life of peace and contentment. Understanding how the principles work allows people to walk away from a troubled past and to rise above adverse circumstances.

Alongside Syd Banks’s descriptions we can also describe them as such:

The Principle of Mind:
This describes the intelligence and energy behind life. This is the energy behind everything. It has no apparent morality but informs the whole of life. Its the source of intelligence. It’s the energy that allows seeds to become flowers, wounds to heal, life to grow.

The Principle of Consciousness:
AS human beings we have an innate capacity to be aware of ourselves and of life. This is a universal singularity. Your level of awareness in any given moment determines the quality of your experience. The more we raise our consciousness the higher up the ladder of selves we climb.

The Principle of Thought:
Not to be confused with thinking, the principle of Thought is the creative energy we use to build our individual moment by moment experience of reality. Thought is the missing link between the formless world of pure potential and the created world of form.

 

These Principles govern us in the way that Gravity governs our experience of being on this planet. Gravity has no form, we cannot see or measure it, but we can observe the impact it has on us. When scientists didn’t know about Gravity they were missing a fundamental constant, and since they worked under the wrong premise their calculations were often wrong.

So what does this mean for us in the 21st century?

Well it means that the more we understand how the human experience works the less we have to take heed of the stressful personal thinking that gets us into trouble.

The greatest untapped resource for personal and professional growth is your state of mind. When we are clear-headed, free from stress and self-doubt we have easier access to our creative thinking; we are able to have a bigger impact and solutions come a lot easier.

Over four decades of this understanding in practice has demonstrated that people can create rewarding, healthy personal and professional lives. The simplicity and depth of the principles are having a dramatic effect on many fields of endeavour, including business, mental health, medicine, education, drug and alcohol treatment, the criminal justice system, and a wide range of youth programs...

The 3 Principles now inform my coaching in powerful ways.

And I know coming from this grounding gives me an edge over other coaches who might still be using additive techniques such as CBT or NLP which I see now only really paper over the cracks.

Coaching from a 3ps grounding instead is about taking away, its a subtractive method, removing all the BS you’ve been taught and made to believe your whole life. It subtracts all the interference and contamination and gets to who you really are.

Now that may sounds scary, especially if you believe who you really are is that person who’s felt stressed, anxious., stuck, uncertain and unproductive for a long time. But the great news is the more you see the reality of the principles the more you see that all that is just made up.

Because who you really are is perfect. Who you really are is wise, creative, inspiring, calm, playful and happy.

And the really good news is there's no techniques to master, no affirmations to go over, no need for endless journaling or hour of power crap, none of that stuff you hate which doesn't work anyway.

Since the principles are universal, all people have the same potential for success, freedom, mental well-being, peace of mind and personal growth; no matter what their circumstances.

Drawing out this wisdom and insight from individuals and groups to help them reach their amazing potential is now my life's work.

 

If you'd like to know more about the 3 principles and how being coached from this perspective can literally change your life then contact me to book in a conversation. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have too.

Letting those negative beliefs about yourself go…

Letting those negative beliefs about yourself go…

HOW TO'S

I couldn’t see it.

But the minute I did everything changed.

You see, your negative beliefs about yourself are not concrete – they ebb and flow…

Its why one day you can wake up feeling like you can take on the world and then next day you just want to stay in bed.

If it can change that rapidly its clearly not got anything to do with you, your abilities, or even the world.

Its just your mood, its just your thinking in that moment.

Yet we often take our thoughts about ourselves SO seriously it can cripple us. Stop us starting.

And if you’re currently defining yourself with absolutes (I’m a procrastinator, I can’t do X) then maybe today it’d be useful to spend some time considering where these beliefs come from.

What if you now saw them just as made up stories?

What if you realised it wasn’t saying anything about who you really are?

Because who you are exists before all the stories, and BS that you’ve made up about yourself.

Who you are is already everything you need. Who you are is resilient, light, resourceful, wise and full of well being.

And these beliefs, about you who are, what you can and can’t do. They can be let go of

So spend some time considering what beliefs are holding you back.

Then remind yourself they aren’t set in stone.

How to get out your own way

How to get out your own way

HOW TO'S

Get out your own way!

When I was acting this was a phrase I heard a lot.

And now as a coach and mindset expert I see this with the people I work with

They’re passionate with a bias for action AND they know that what gets between them and success is…themselves.

Or to put it another way, what stands between them and the life they want is the voices in their head.

The inner critic, the mind-chatter that has us second-guessing ourselves and ignoring our real source of inspiration and creativity.

So we get confused about priorities, experiencing self-doubt and overwhelm. We over-commit to things, or procrastinate before later acting out of urgency.

If any of these resonate then maybe its time to take a closer look.

This is a byproduct of insecure thinking. And it only continues to feel frustrating when you try to figure it all out.

Because what if getting away from the mind-chatter, and out of your own way was easier than you think?

What if success was not about lots of techniques and analysis but a simple subtractive process?

Because the real, resourceful you is always there when you begin to stop taking that inner critic so seriously.

 

I know it to be true that when you’re calmer and clear-headed, everything comes a lot easier.

From decision making, to relationships, to even managing your work load. It might seem paradoxical but you know this deep down.

So today practice slowing down, to speed up.

Choose to not pay too much attention to your insecure thinking and stay present.

It as easy and as hard as that…

Be well…

 


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‘The One and Only Answer’ – The Power of Love.

‘The One and Only Answer’ – The Power of Love.

HOW TO'S

‘The One and Only Answer’ – The Power of Love.

power of love

 

Below is a letter that Albert Einstein wrote to his daughter about the universal force of love.

I love this because more and more I see this in ALL areas of human potential and development; from psychology, to quantum science, to biology, to theology to day to day living, people are coming down stronger and stronger in this understanding that the true power in the universe is LOVE.

So please take 5 minutes to read this powerful, moving letter that Albert wrote his young daughter, and see for yourself the wonder of this energy:

“When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.

I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.

There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.

When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love.

This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.

 To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.

After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…

If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.

Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.

However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.

When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.

I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer! “.

Your father,
Albert Einstein

Original source: http://www.trueactivist.com/read-a-letter-einstein-wrote-to-his-daughter-about-the-universal-force-of-love

Keith Richards Does Personal Development

Keith Richards Does Personal Development

CREATING YOU

 

“Great songs write themselves. You’re just being led by the nose, or the ears. The skill is not to interfere with it too much. Ignore intelligence, ignore everything; just follow it where it takes you. You really have no say in it, and suddenly there it is: “Oh, I know how this goes,” and you can’t believe it because you think that nothing comes like that …And you realise that songs write themselves; you’re just the conveyor.”

 

I love this quote from Keith Richards, not just because he’s always been a huge hero of mine but also because it points to the innate wisdom and inspiration that is inside us all.

 

Its what remains when we stop listening to our cluttered, personal thinking and choose to get in touch with our deeper truth instead.

 

Because have you ever done something that felt tricky at first but when you were in the moment you didn’t really understood where the drive came from?

 

Have you ever had an amazing idea that seemed to pop into your head from nowhere?

 

Have you ever tried really hard to solve a problem only for the solution to appear whilst you were out walking, or in the shower?

 

That’s your innate wisdom at work. And the great news is it it ALWAYS there if you get quiet and present and trust in its ability to guide you…

 

What would it mean for you if you knew you always had access to this deep source of inspiration?

Journey of a coach: Part 1 – Experiments in vulnerability

Journey of a coach: Part 1 – Experiments in vulnerability

OPINION & INSIGHTS

This new blog series is about me purposefully opening myself up more than I ever have before and seeing what flows. This is me committing fully to hide nothing and hold nothing back. It’s an experiment in vulnerability. Yet in the process I hope to reconnect more with who I really am so I can better serve others.

Today I’m coming out and saying it proudly; I am not perfect. I am muddling my way through as I go. I am not some Instagram ideal of what a business / life coach is and I’m tired of pretending otherwise.

As I’ve come to terms with this idea recently its opened up a whole range of emotions and new insights for me. Its dawned on me how much I’ve been hiding and pretending these past few years and I’m ready to move past that. Right now.

This was highlighted recently for me when I found a poem I wrote when I was younger titled: If I was David Bowie I wouldn’t have had my teeth done.

And I really meant it too.

Because the thing is I’ve always liked things a little edgy, a little earthy and real. I grew up listening to Nirvana and Guns n Roses and The Stones. I spent my 20s obsessed with the Beats and Bukowski. I used to drink far too much, and stay up all weekend. So, the idea of being overly polished and shiny-teethed wasn’t something that ever really appealed to me.

Yet, next month I finish off a 2 year course of Invisalign, which has made my teeth all straight and nice, and ends in a treatment to make them all white too!

You see something changed a few years ago and its only now that I’m really seeing it fully. Somewhere along my journey I reverted back to acting from fear rather than love. A state I thought I’d grown out of a long time ago. And actually what I thought was me having it all figured out was actually just me getting a whole lot better at tricking myself.

Now don’t get me wrong, my life is good by and large. I love what I do, I’m very grateful for all I have and I get married in September which I can’t wait for. Yet recently I’ve managed to peel back another layer of the onion of Matt and discovered a whole heap of blocks and complexes I didn’t even know were there.

So while its still a step further on my journey of self-realization I also feel its a weird time for me right now while I deepen my understanding and step beyond these things.

You see, I’ve been coaching now for just over 2 years now and I absolutely love it. I love every client I’ve worked with and I’m really good at what I do. I know 100% this is my calling. But….its been a long journey here and looking back now I’m starting to see a pattern that perhaps explains why I’m writing this now.

Because if we were to have a quick rundown of things I’ve done over the last 38 years we’d see:

Artist, guitarist, singer, actor, writer, poet, theatre and film producer, personal trainer and now coach…

And that’s not including the ages between 5 and 12, where, in no particular order I wanted to be; Han Solo (still do really!); a ghostbuster; a magician and The karate kid…

And, as this is experiments in vulnerability, while that all reads rather grand it’s important to point out here that there is also a lot of soul-destroying office work in that mix. The kind of work that isn’t worth talking about but that actually paid the bills for most of the time.

However, despite being a creative soul and being pretty damn tenacious with all those projects for most of the time, there always came a point when I stopped enjoying what I was doing. The lightness and joy of creativity got overtaken by struggle and perfectionism. As I went forward with my vision I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others. To the point where I ended up second-guessing myself and eventually giving in and moving on.

The pattern seems to go that whenever I’m operating from fear I revert to hiding behind a shield of faux-perfection. I feel I’m not enough so I act out, trying to go the other way – to counter the feelings; to try and kid myself, as much as the world, that I’m flawless.

But I’m not going to do that any more.

I realised that for too long now that’s what’s been happening with my coaching. Rather than standing firm footed and allowing the real me to show I’ve been hiding behind the sheen that social media allows. I’ve not been untruthful, but I’ve been very selective in what I allowed to be visible. But I realise now how counter-productive and silly this really is.

In fact, at the very start of my coaching journey I even chose to go under another last name – which partly was due to me still being an actor and not wanting to confuse the 2 careers – but really, if I’m honest, its because I was scared of this new world and wanted a buffer between me and the ‘me’ I was putting out on display.

These insights all came to me recently after a coaching session I had (as coachee) with the brilliant Ankush Jain, who helped me see where I’d been going wrong. What I realised during the conversation, and more so as I’ve deepened my understanding afterwards was that I’ve been trying too hard to be perfect when actually I should work more on being me. And I’m already perfect at being me. I was caught up in the old ‘I’ll be happy/successful/complete when..’ trap. A misunderstanding that outside circumstances were responsible for my happiness and sense of purpose. But I know they never, ever are.

So I’m committing now to being the perfect me, and that is someone who is very imperfect. But someone who is ready to let that really show. I’m committing to sharing myself more and allowing deeper connections to form.

Because for too long I felt I had to show prospective clients how impressive I was. Which I imagine put some of them off. I know now how counter-productive this is; how coaching is never about impressing people but instead about building strong relationships, connecting on a deep level and true, impactful service.

By trying to be perfect and impressive I wasn’t allowing true connections to be made. And its perhaps only the clients that I felt comfortable enough to let my guard down with that have hired me up to now.

I also had some powerful insights regarding fees that fit with this idea of a need to impress. I guess it all goes back to the idea of comparing myself with people much further along in their careers. I felt that to be truly impressive as a coach it was important to set high fees from the off. To show how amazing I was, how top class I was.

So I did, then I put them down when no one wanted to hire me. Then I got some clients, so I put them up again, and I got some more clients, so I put them up some more, then I had a few ‘Nos’ so I put them down again, and then I got some more and blah blah blah…

I’m sure if you’re a coach or service professional or anyone who sets their own fees you can relate to this.

But here’s the thing; to date I’ve never had a full coaching practice. (And thats really edgy for me to write but this the game isn’t it?) Sure I’ve had quite a few clients at any one time, but I’ve never been full. And Ankush helped me see that at this stage of my career its much more important to get a full practice and coach my ass off than work with just 4 or 5 clients at any one time. So this is something else I’ll be exploring going forward.

Because I see now how comparing myself to others, be they people in other bands, other actors, other coaches, other humans – its a path to nowhere good. Its like trying to go straight to the finish line without enjoying the race.

Actually that’s a terrible analogy, no one really enjoys races do they? Instead how about we let Alan Watts take this as this is a beautiful, apt and wonderful quote:

Life is NOT a Journey – remember to dance and sing… Because music, as an art form is essentially playful. We say, “You play the piano” You don’t work the piano. Why music differs from say, travel is when you travel you’re trying to get somewhere. In music, though, one doesn’t make the end of the composition the point of the composition. If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest. And there would be composers who only wrote finales. People would go to a concert just to hear one crackling chord… Because that’s the end!

For too long now I’ve been focussing on the last chord rather than enjoying the symphony (there, much better) I’ve looked at other coaches that I admire, other people in the industry and I’ve compared 2 year me to 5, 10 even 20 years them.

And looking back this is what happened with my music, my acting, everything. I heard Rich Litvin once say that he realised he’d been comparing how he felt inside to how others appeared on the outside. I’ve been doing exactly the same. And I realise now this is what has held me back a lot in the past. Comparing myself to other people has made me fearful of being truly me.

And this doesn’t allow for deep connection with others, it doesn’t allow for my vulnerabilities and foibles to give my clients the go ahead to share their own. It stops me being as authentic and open and grounded as I want to be. As I should be.

And I know I’m intelligent, I know I’m empathetic, caring, a good listener and I have really great imagination. I’m fantastic at lighting fires under others, helping them see how special they are and to see how things that might seem impossible are actually really achievable.

These are all great traits for my work with clients when I let them really flow.

But… I’m also clumsy, self-conscious, introverted, sarcastic, messy and grumpy sometimes. I can procrastinate for days, I skip meditating some mornings to watch the cookery channel, I can be argumentative and downright silly when I want to be. I read a lot of pretty heavy books but I watch quite a lot of ‘crap’ TV too, and enjoy it. I still tear up every time I watch Rachel appear at that door and say ‘I got off the plane’ (Damn it I’m tearing up now just typing that!)

And just because I’ve had this insight doesn’t mean I’m any more sorted either. I’ll still get caught up in the outside-in misunderstanding on a regular basis of course. Just like we all will. I’ll still get envious and impatient and blame external things for my ‘lack’.

But its all part of the game, all part of the dance.

And you know, I don’t regret any of it, least of all getting my teeth done. In fact, I love them. What I once described as a ‘row of wonky tic tacs‘ now looks pretty good. And I’ll even get the whitening treatment. Though this might be more for the wedding photos than personal vanity. (Nope its not, its mainly vanity.)

But really what I like about them most is I feel like I’m smiling a lot more now. And maybe it’s the teeth, but maybe also its because I’m enjoying myself again, maybe its because I feel I am allowing ‘me’ to come back and I’m becoming more connected to who I really am, imperfections and all. Whatever the reason. I’m now loving the journey dance again and can’t wait to see what’s next.

I’m so glad I’ve had this insight. I feel like a massive weight has lifted off me, that lightness of creativity feels like its come back and I feel like I’m ready to show up a lot more powerfully but also more playfully from now on. No more being apologetic and muted. No more being anodyne and ‘easy listening’. I want to be me, shit tattoos and all (and believe me, they really are) (OK, some things I do regret a bit!)

It also feels fateful, or maybe right on, that I’ve had these insights now – as I begin working with Ankush and the legendary Steve Chandler in 2 weeks on their group programme for coaches. I can’t wait to see where this takes me and I’ll try and document what comes up, what happens and where it takes me next.

So if you’ve got this far thanks for reading, thanks for being you. I hope we connect soon.

Oh and I dug out the Bowie poem and include it below…reading it again it feels quite apt.

Much love,

Matt

IF I WAS DAVID BOWIE I WOULDN’T HAVE HAD MY TEETH DONE

If I was David Bowie
I wouldn’t have had my teeth done
I liked his teeth before
In the videos
and on the record sleeves
They looked odd
Lupine and mysterious

I guess it’s a symptom of fame
You lose sight of what you are
What you really are
Or what you were

Now he’s just a sanitised
Coca cola version of himself
Grinning
Americanised
(Spelt with a ‘Z’)
(That’s pronounced’ Zee’)

Fame hits and destroys the soul
People get lost in it all
A thousand empty egos
staring
Into the blank expectant crowd.

If I was David Bowie
I wouldn’t have had my teeth done
And nobody would, they say
We tell ourselves
we won’t fall into all that
we’ll fall on our swords first
We’ll rise above it all

Or

we’ll get sucked in
Bask in the avarice
Relish the mirror
And do it
all over again.

RIP DAVE x

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

CREATING YOU

‘I’ll be happy when…’

I’m sure we’ve all said these words at some point in our development, or at the very least a riff on them:

‘I’ll be ready when…’

‘I’ll be successful when…’

I know I’ve said all three at some point in my life. And the rest…

You see its really easy to fall into this trap. We’re conditioned to believe that the world outside us is somehow responsible for our happiness and wellbeing.

We look at our jobs, our partners, how much impact we think we have and we decide that we are lacking. We wish that if we just had the success that the woman down the street has, or the lifestyle of that guy on Instagram then we’d have made it. We’d have won at life.

But I think we also know deep down that if we don’t stop comparing ourselves to others it only exacerbates our feelings of insecurity

For me initially it was other bands; the ones getting better gigs, bigger record deals, more airtime. Then it was other actors who I ‘knew’ were no better than me but were getting better roles, more exposure, had more dedicated agents.

Even when I first started coaching I looked at others – many of whom had been coaching for 10 years I might add, though we never consider these variables do we? These were people leading powerfully, charging higher-end fees, impacting their clients and doing amazing things. It left me stressed and feeling ineffective.

Because the thing is when we compare ourselves in this way we exist in a perpetual state of lack.

From this place it’s very hard to move towards a life of abundance. We stay at a certain level purely because we believe that in some way external circumstances have control over who we are and what we can and can’t do.

But what if you knew that you and you alone were responsible for your happiness, success, even feelings of readiness?

Other people, places, your bank balance, your work, the stories you tell yourself all have zero effect on how you feel and what you do with those feelings.

The truth is you work 100% from the inside-out. You create your world. And I don’t mean this in a hackneyed new age way but in the simple fact that your whole perception of the world is filtered through your beliefs, history, thoughts and ideas. Your experience is created inside of you.

This is why on some days you can feel motivated as hell about your business and the next day you can feel down and stuck. The business hasn’t changed, in fact its always neutral, so its only ever your thinking about it that informs your feeling.

Its also why on some days you can feel great about yourself and what you can do and other days you feel insecure and uncertain. Again, nothing has changed but your thinking about yourself.

You see, you are optimized for reality. It’s where you do your best work. I don’t know about you but I’m no good when I’m stuck in the past or worrying about the future.

Yet that’s where we often find ourselves when we allow ourselves to get stuck in stressful thinking.

Because of the way our minds work we have the ability to trick ourselves into believing we are feeling something other than thought. We think we’re feeling our work, or something someone said to us, or our partner, or our weight…..

When you see that isn’t possible it brings you back into the present.

And the present is where you’re really, really good at being resourceful, and impactful and less stressed.

When you understand this it means you don’t have anything to fight against.

There’s nothing actually to do here but connect with this truth. In doing so you are back to living in reality.  Away from ‘living’ in imagined futures or pasts that can cripple you.

With this realisation comes deep freedom. You are free to create, grow and impact from a place of grounded responsibility over who you are and what you want to do.

When you drop out of the misunderstanding about what creates your experiences you connect more fully to who you really are.

And that person is whole, strong, and capable no matter what.

All feelings are normal and they act to inform and guide us on our journey of creation.

And if you want something it’s all in your reach.

Another pitfall we all fall prey too at times is that when we’re imaging our dream scenario we forget that the person who’ll be experiencing it is still us.

For better or worse, we always take ourselves with us.

And this is a beautiful thing but for many the person we imagine being in those palatial surroundings, who has the perfect partner and dream career is somehow profoundly different to who we are.

So what often happens is that when we get to where we want to be we don’t feel any different. Yes we might be on some idyllic, sun-drenched beach with the waves lapping at our toes, but we still carry with us all those damned insecurities and limiting beliefs that we’ve always had.

This is why a lot of people who experience rapid changes in fortune often fall into depression. Somehow life isn’t better because they’ve just won the lottery and so the spell is broken. If we spend our whole life thinking ‘I’ll be happy when I’m rich’ – then you get rich – and you’re STILL not happy there’s really not anywhere to go.

I was reminded of this recently when I was looking over some old scripts from my acting days and fell on a piece from Before Sunrise that I used a few times as an audition piece. Here Jesse played beautifully be Ethan Hawke bemoans his experience of himself:

I have never been anywhere that I haven’t been. I’ve never had a kiss when I wasn’t one of the kissers. Y’know, I’ve never, um, gone to the movies, when I wasn’t there in the audience. I’ve never been out bowling, if I wasn’t there, y’know making some stupid joke. I think that’s why so many people hate themselves. Seriously, it’s just they are sick to death of being around themselves..

Now I’m not saying all is lost of course, far from it. But what I am saying is that THERE is never better than HERE. And, who you are right now is perfect.

We can never be happy there if we aren’t happy here right now.

And in fact doing the work that creates this moment to moment happiness is also a sure fire way of ensuring you create your authentic desires.

So remember this next time you find yourself comparing your life and career to other peoples or wishing yourself into an imagined future.

You’ll still be you.

But who you are is perfect.

You have ultimate power over what you create in the world. But the caveat is you can only wield this power if you are living in the real world. In a place where you have impact and where you can take action. Spending too long in an imagined future or a past that drags you down is stopping you from being all you can be.

Next time you get lost in this looped thinking, wishing ‘what if’, look down at your hands. Let them remind you that they only exist right now in the present and that’s where you belong too, a place where you can connect with your innate creativity and can take action from a place of grounding and courage.

Be well.

 

How to get started when you don’t feel like it

How to get started when you don’t feel like it

HOW TO'S

I was laid up with a bad chest infection at the start of this month which meant I was out of action for a good couple of weeks. Now, I’m not ill very often and not one to bask in it so it really did knock me out for a time.

But you’ll be happy to know that, a few box sets and a course of strong antibiotics later, I’m back fighting fit.

And, this morning signalled my return to the gym.

Now before my little bout of uber-man-flu I was going around 4 to 5 times a week, and whilst I never *loved it I just got on with it. It was something I did, part of my routine. I’d managed to finally make it one of those tricksy habits we all try to get a grip on.

But a habit it was no longer. With the advent of a 2-week hiatus and a coughy chest I was now back to feeling pretty crappy about schlepping myself to the old weights room this morning.

Of course, I knew this was just me having crappy thoughts and my feelings couldn’t possibly be caused by the gym (in the past I didn’t mind it at all so I’m going to suggest the gym is pretty neutral!)

Yet, despite this understanding. I did not want to go. At all.

So you know what I did?

I went anyway.

And this has been one my most important things I’ve realised in the past few years. That I don’t need to feel motivated to do the thing I know I should do. Because with this insight its meant I remove myself from lots of cluttered thinking and stress.

You see there’s a trick of the mind we all fall for when we decide we want to create something new or change something in our lives.

The prescribed wisdom of how to get started when you don’t feel like it is that we need to feel incredibly productive and motivated.

We need to feel confident in our abilities and driven to do whatever is necessary to get there.

And this is why we no doubt just like me you’ve spent hours reading self-help books, singing up for online courses and even scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram reading ‘inspirational’ quotes laid out over pictures of sunsets or Maseratis.

We act as though if we surround ourselves with enough external inspiration that somehow something will switch in our mindset and we’ll be propelled us into action.

Yet I bet what you’ve also found when doing so is that actually you only end up feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and a little stressed with it all. Yes some of the things you’ll read will be motivating no doubt, you might get some good ideas from the courses and guides. But then what?

Because the thing is, all that is happening when we do all this ‘prep’ is that we get stuck in out heads trying to think our way to success. We’re trying to take on the mindset of someone else in some hope that by thinking how a successful person does we too can be successful.

But here’s the thing I know to be true.

Who you are, is already perfect.

You already have the wisdom, resources, resilience, courage, intelligence and capacity to be happy, successful and fulfilled.

And in fact, the thing that often keeps you from starting is a misunderstanding that you have to wait until you feel ready.

A client and I were discussing this yesterday and we came to the conclusion Nike were right all along.

Just Do it.

Thinking your way into feeling motivated will only get you so far.

You see, when you have a limiting thought; such as ‘I can’t start X because X’ you have two options.

Option A: you spend time and energy affirming ‘I can do this’. You read books and work on that PMA (*shudder). You go through the personal development clichés of uncovering evidence of times when you’ve exhibited the behaviour you want.

You know the drill.

But then there’s option B, a little simpler but no less sassy: you start doing the thing you want to do.

When you do this you can’t possibly have that thought anymore that you can’t do it. Because, well, you are doing it.

You can’t hold that thought any longer if you are in motion this way – its impossible.

Now I know there’s a gap here – that what usually what stops us is fear of the doing, of taking action.

But the thing is that fear will be there whether you take action internally (takes ages, doesn’t always work) or externally (takes 0 seconds, always works)

So feel that fear, smile at it, and do it anyway.

You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want.

You need to simply stop trying to think your way there and connect with the power of who you really are.

Because when I arrived at they gym this morning I still felt pretty uninspired. But I got on with it. Did my sets, stayed focused. And got through it. Tomorrow will be easier, by next week it might almost feel fun again. But regardless I’ll be going.

Because motivation is optional. Isn’t it liberating and inspiring to realise that?

Stop waiting to feel ready.

Connect with your energy and inspiration and push on through.

Stop too trying to fit into a mould of someone who has completely different way of looking at the world and remember that you are always enough.  What got them there, won’t get you there. And vice versa.

And that’s the beauty of creating new things. Its uniquely about you. You will be infinitely more resourceful, resilient and inspired when you move past all the thinking and techniques and simply and authentically connect deeply to your innate wisdom.

This is your inner core, the real you, the powerful person that exists before all the stories and beliefs and crap the world piled on top of you about what you can and can’t do.

By pushing past all the limiting thoughts and motivational self-help gumff and just starting means you are suddenly free to play, try stuff out and create from a place of curiosity, inspiration and insight.

When you can trust that this is the real source of your inspiration and creation and that motivation is optional you’ll know instinctively what to do next and how to do it.

It takes a little trust, but it’s also the best game in town.