Guest Blogger: Emma Bewes – an awesomely brave change leader
If I asked you to walk on fire how many of you would actually go ‘hell yeah?” Not many, in fact most people would (did and still do) say are you mad?.
What is it that stops most of us from wanting to take that first step? Of course the obvious answer is that people are afraid they will get hurt (understandably with a firewalk it’s a visible risk) most people believe it can’t be done and more importantly believe they can’t do it, they don’t trust themselves or indeed understand how it can be done?
That was me as I embarked on a truly life changing long weekend run by Mr Tony Robbins called Unleash the Power Within.
Mr Robbins is a giant of a man, with a great heart to share all his learning from 30years plus experience in the world of personal development. His events are long days over 4 to 7 days and attended by thousands of people at a time.
So traveling up from Devon to London and preparing for 4 long days, rising at 7am to queue to get a good spot and not getting back to the hotel until gone midnight on several days, I was thinking how on earth am I going to have the energy to do this when I get so shattered after 9.5 hours. Well I smashed that limiting belief to smithereens.
You see in order to walk on fire, you need to understand that fear is the number one reason for most people stopping taking action. Sometimes fear is useful and necessary. Fear triggers the fight, flight or freeze (stress) response in our bodies. However, our brains were wired over 2 million years ago, and whilst parts have further developed there are still parts of it that believe we are being chased by sabre tooth tigers when in actual fact we are sat watching a horror movie.
What we can develop is our ability to understand, change our minds and take control of our emotions and bodily responses, Mr Robbins describes this as changing our state. On the first day, it’s very much about learning how to change your state in preparation for taking that first step on to the Firewalk.
You can change your state in an instant. Think about it, have you ever woken up in the morning dreading going into work because you are thinking about that meeting with your manager, the list of tasks you’ve got to do or that difficult conversation you have to have. You can feel the pressure building inside you (stress anxiety frustration even anger). You become more likely to grab some junk food or nothing at all, hit the caffeine, sugar, looking to feel better, and forget to say goodbye to your loved ones (in fact you don’t remember that you have loved ones at that point).
You get to work, your manager has cancelled the meeting, you’ve received a compliment in your inbox and that difficult conversation isn’t as bad as first thought. How quickly do you feel lighter happier and less stressed?
There is a way you can change that state before you get to work. You can start your day by deciding what you are going to focus on, changing your physiological state and looking at the language you are using both out loud and in your head.
So for that first half an hour in the morning ( don’t tell me you can’t put half an hour aside for yourself!) here are some examples where you can change your state before work:
Focus – read something in a book written by someone you admire, watch something funny, write a list of 3-5 achievable goals you will focus on today or check out the priming exercise on tonyrobbins.com.
Physiological – do some exercise (doesn’t need to be strenuous just a 5 min workout video) deep diaphragm breathing for at least one minute or more (this helps your body to get into its parasympathetic system which is the relaxed system), meditation.
Language – listen to what your thoughts are saying (write them down) or how you are speaking to your loved ones and change it if it’s negative. Negative thoughts/language will trigger your sympathetic system (fight or flight stress) unnecessarily.
Let me take you back to that difficult conversation you are due to have. How do you know it’s going to be difficult? It will be difficult if you focus on it being difficult. However, if you think to yourself my intention is to have an open and honest conversation as I want to get the best out of the situation? Then you have reframed it by changing your language and hence your focus.
The most important piece of learning is to practice practice practice. Success comes from failing, learning from those failures and keeping focussed on the reason you started on this path in the first place. Success is very rarely a straight line.
So back to the firewalk, yes I did it, no burns on my feet, a few black marks to remind me I did it (which washed off) How did I feel and what did I learn… I felt freaking awesome. I learnt what great things we can achieve , by taking a few simple steps to change our state and smash those limiting beliefs that aren’t serving us well.
So I’d love to know what first step you are going to take today in making some permanent changes in your life?
If you are interested in knowing more feel free to send me a private message on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emsie71 or https://www.facebook.com/The-Garden-of-Life-Coaching-613363805782490/
Emma Bewes has over 25 years experience within the Health and Social Care sector, beginning life as a mental health nurse. Over the last 5 years Emma has gained qualifications in strategic intervention coaching and become a workplace coach and mentor as well as leading health and social care teams in South Devon. Emma will be launching her own private practice in 2020