Anna explores how to have the courage to live a life true to yourself, giving a sneak preview of her work-in-progress book as she looks at the first 3 principles of how to reimagine success.
Today, I’m talking you through something I’m working on, which is my next book. And it’s very early days, but this is something that I’m trying to formulate in my head and I thought it would be useful to express them verbally with you here, as a listener and as part of my community. And I’d love to hear your feedback of course. The book is all around reimagining success… have a listen and let me know what you think!
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The One Step Outside Facebook group– Join us over in the Facebook group to meet like-minded people who are working on reimagining success in their life and business and to get access to direct support and free training sessions from Anna. www.facebook.com/groups/onestepoutside
Hello. Hello there, and welcome back. So I hope you are getting into the swing of things now. January is almost over, my goodness, how did that happen? I don’t know about you, but I feel like that’s gone pretty quickly. But excited to be getting into the swing of things and hopefully you’re well into working towards your goals, enjoying yourself, and having a great start to this year and decade. So today I wanted to talk you through something I’m working on, which is my next book. And it’s very early days, but this is something that I’m trying to formulate in my head and I thought it would be useful to express them verbally with you here as a listener and as part of my community. And I’d love to hear your feedback of course. And the book is all around re-imagining success. So my previous book was Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 and it was a collection of 50 stories of career transitions.
People had left their corporate jobs to change sector, to start a business, to go freelance, to take a leap of faith or to create a portfolio career, which is some kind of combination of those different things. And that’s been such a fantastic resource. And hopefully you’ve read it or you at least know about it and it’s intended really to be both inspiration and giving concrete steps that you can take to overcome your fears, to get the support you need and to take action and create your own version of what these 50 people have done in the book. And of course there are many more than 50 as well. So the second book is more rooted in the philosophy, this bigger picture philosophy that we talk about here on the podcast, which is re-imagining success. And what I’m looking at is defining sort of nine principles is the magic number I’m looking at.
So the nine principles of reimagining success. And this is something of course I’ve been exploring for months with you here on the podcast, for years with my clients and I’m sure for more than that and for myself as well.
Defining what success looks like, how we can do that. You know my group coaching programmes, we do all sorts of exercises to arrive at that definition of success. Really looking at the big picture holistically, all your different areas of life and stripping away the shoulds of what other people think and what you think you should do taking those little steps towards your new definition of success, which isn’t necessarily and probably definitely isn’t the conventional definition that we’ve grown up with or that we’ve sort of inherited from society, from our parents, from TV and entertainment, from our friends, from our peers and so on.
So it’s not yet a perfect list, but hopefully this gives you some small taste of what I’m working on and I will be continuing to refine and optimise I guess these principles as we go. It’s always hard to capture all these thoughts and ideas into just a few little steps. But hopefully again, it’s going to be an inspirational but also practical guide as we each work on defining what success means to us. So without further ado, the first principle, the first step is to really get clear on what matters in your life. So this is the whole big picture question. It’s when I talk about the five L’s that we talked about before Christmas and at the beginning of the podcast as well. So really going beyond just career and work and thinking about what really truly matters in my life.
And there’s of course so many things we can do there. And I like to help clients look at their values. That was something I did back very early on in my own transition when I was qualifying to be a coach. One of my first coaches gave me this exercise. Okay values, never really thought about it that way. So really getting clear on the fundamental values we have. Another one is Danielle La Porte’s core desired feelings. So rather than I want to buy a house, I want to live by the sea, I want to have a big business, you focus on what are the feelings I want to have? I want to feel stable, secure, safe. I want to feel a sense of community, belonging. I want to feel free, I want to feel calm. So your core feelings that you’re desiring, that you’re looking for, that’s another element as well.
And again, those five L’s, you know really considering your work. Yes, because that is an important part of life. It’s not the only part and it’s not that traditional dichotomy of work versus life. I think work is one part of life, a very important one, but it’s not the only part. And so work, career, impact your icky guy, which I talk about all the time, finding work that’s meaningful to you and that you really enjoy, that you’re really good at. So work, career of course is an important part of what matters. But there are so many other things. So your own health, that of your family, your relationships with your partner, with your children, with your parents, with your cousins, with your friends, with your colleagues, with your peers, your sense of belonging and being part of the community. Your learning maybe learning new skills, getting out of your comfort zone, going on adventures, challenging yourself, running marathons, goodness knows what else you want to be getting up to.
And also just having fun, enjoying yourself and enjoying this beautiful time we have on the planet however long or short that may be. So the first principle really is to get clear on what truly matters in your life. So imagine you’re on your deathbed or you’re sitting even better in that rocking chair in the elderly home, looking back on your life and thinking, oh my goodness, what an incredible life I’ve had. What would really matter? And of course I often refer to the five regrets of the dying, The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying by Bronnie Ware, it’s a book. And she worked in palliative care working with people nearing the end of their lives. And the number one thing that they said was, “And I wish I’d had the courage to live a life that was to who I am, rather than try to live up to other people’s expectations.”
And of course the others are, I wish I hadn’t worked so much and I wish I’d had more time with my friends and family. I wish I’d let myself be happier and so on. So number one, get clear on what really matters in your life. And that really is the core of re-imagining success. Number two is put the what and the why before the how. And I cannot tell you how often I say this to my clients and people on consultation calls. And I say it again and again in pretty much every call and I have to say it to myself as well. So the key here is to understand what it is you want and why it’s so important to you. How will your life change? How will your life be different? Why are you so committed to working hard to achieve this particular what your goal, whether it’s the big picture vision or a specific goal in your life, and put that way before the how in terms of how am I going to get this business up and running?
How on earth am I going to move to that country and live there?
How on earth am I going to do X, Y, Z? Because the how can fall into place later on. You can get the help, you can find out, you can research, you’re smart, you’re capable. The how will all fall into place so much more easily once we know what it is we want and why it’s so important. If I have 10 vague ideas of what I might want to do and each time I consider, I think no, but that will never work because oh, but I don’t know how to do that and oh no, it sounds a bit scary. What if I don’t succeed and so on, we’ll never get anywhere. So we have to really dream big, fantasise, go crazy and then we begin to filter and narrow down and work out how we’re going to get there.
The first step has to be no filter, big picture, what do I want to do and why is it so important? And then third link to that, stop thinking in black and white. So we tend to think we’re either over here in this miserable, dreary day to day drudgery of this existence of commuting and working in this corporate job and whatever it might be. And maybe we’re single and we’re feeling unhappy with our weight and all the terrible things over here. And then right over there is this ideal life where we’re living by the sea. We’ve got this gorgeous partner and beautiful little children perhaps and a dog, and we’ve got a Lamborghini. Now I don’t know what else you have and your life is absolutely incredible and so on, right? So we’ve got those two extremes and I’m joking a little bit, but there’s a serious message here.
So we tend to think of those black and white terms that either were here or we’re there.
And of course there is so far removed from where we are today that it just feels absolutely impossible to ever get there. So linked to the previous point about how on earth are we going to get there. So rather than thinking we’re either here or there, the exercise is to paint that beautiful picture of there and then we can consider all the shades of grey in between the black and white. And even better, all the shades of the rainbow is a nice way to think about it. There are so many ways in which you can of course first of all take steps in that direction. Take little steps and we’ll talk about that later. The second you also bring elements of the ideal vision into your life today.
And even if we don’t end up in that exact place and probably we won’t, we will be in a better place than we are today and better we get to define what that means, right? And there are so many different versions and steps in the right direction we can take in the meantime. And who knows before we know it, we may well be over there in that incredible ideal rainbows and unicorns existence that had we thought were so far off. So stop thinking of black and white and imagine all the different scenarios that are better than where you are today that are taking a step in the right direction. So those first three principles are really around what your vision is, what that ideal is and what you might be wanting to work towards. So really the core of what is success for you.
The second set of three principles are more around your mindset and what might be holding you back.
So number four is to examine and to reframe your beliefs and assumptions. So this is again something that was very central to my work that I was doing when I first became a coach and still is, and the idea of the limiting beliefs. So it sounds really foreign to us if it’s not something we’ve come across. If you haven’t worked with a coach before, but it’s something that we use a lot in coaching because it is so, so powerful. And I’ve heard again and again from my clients. So if we say, “I’m not an entrepreneurial person. I can turn a lot of money doing something I love. It’s much riskier to work for myself. I could never do X, Y, Z. I need a full time job. I should buy a house, I should be married by now, et cetera, et cetera.” These are all statements that we sort of think are facts, but in fact, they’re not facts.
They’re beliefs and assumptions we’re making. We believe that we’re not good at managing our money because of a story we’re telling that’s probably based on things that are happening in our life, based on inherited things from perhaps our parents and so on and experiences. But those are beliefs and stories and assumptions we’re making that either don’t serve us anymore. So maybe they did serve us when we were younger, now they don’t anymore and we can reframe them. Or there are assumptions that if we actually researched that particular idea that we have, we might realise or probably would realise they’re not true. So really examining, hang on a second, what are the things I’m telling myself here and are they really true? And how could I reframe that belief into something that would be much more powerful? And then I can go out into the world and look for evidence.
And I guarantee you that you will find evidence to support that new belief just like you used to be able to find evidence to support your old belief. Even in relationships, all the single guys, all the good single guys are taken. If that is your belief, then probably every time you see a really lovely looking, nice, friendly guy that you think you could be attracted to who is married, you’ll think, oh, they’re all taken. And every time you see a single guy who’s not so nice, then you’ll think, oh, the bad ones are the ones left over. On the other hand, if you could reframe that, then you’d be able to open your eyes to all the lovely single guys that are out there and all the not so lovely married guys as well. So you know there’s always another side to the story. So examine, reframe your beliefs and assumptions.
Number five is to redefine what failure means.
So this is so critical as well. If we’re redefining success, we also need to redefine failure. If success is this particular conventional path, an X, Y, Z that most people do, then of course leaving that behind, let’s say leaving your job, not following that path of getting married, having children, et cetera, et cetera, would be failure under those terms, under those definitions. However, if your definition of success is to live a fulfilled life, to enjoy yourself, to travel the world, to have adventure, to be authentic to yourself, to make a difference in the world, to not have any regrets when you’re older and so on, then that puts a totally different spin on things and actually failure would be staying stuck where you are now. So there’s a point to which the pain of staying is greater than the fear of change.
And that’s an important pivot point where we begin to explore and begin to take action. And that can be really exciting. But redefining what failure means, really critical and because the fear of failure is one of those biggest fears that we have. And then number six is around this idea of the shoulds and in particular around other people’s judgement . And to be fair to other people, this is really us projecting generally what we think other people will say and do, that they’ll judge us, they’ll think we’re foolish for taking these massive risks and making a fool of ourselves. They’ll say that we’re stupid for letting go of such an incredible job, or what on earth is that girl up to travelling the world by herself instead of doing what everyone else is doing and so on. And so there’s an element of protecting yourself against that.
I always tell people to sort of incubate your ideas. Don’t go sharing your heart’s desires willy nilly with whoever you meet, because you may well have a different heart’s desire tomorrow if you’re in this exploratory phase, you don’t want to have other people’s doubts reaffirming, reconfirming your own, because of course at the beginning you’re going to have all these fears and doubts and so on. And if you allow other people to put out your little flame before it’s had a chance to really kindle and become something strong and something that will be able to keep burning, it’s really important to protect yourself away from that negativity. So that’s really key in terms of incubating your ideas, protecting yourself from other people might think. And either it’s you projecting what you think they might say and actually they’re very supportive, which happens or it’s them projecting their own fears and insecurities on you because the fact that you’re making changes puts a doubt on their particular life choices. And that can be quite scary and intimidating for them too.
And then the third set of principles are around taking action.
So number seven is one of my favourite start small. And of course say it with me, take that one little step. So this is my whole brand is based on that one step outside your comfort zone. Taking one step. It comes back to the idea of not thinking in black and white. You don’t have to take those massive crazy leaps or those assumptions we have as well of how we have to do this. Start small. So you’ve dreamed big now and then you’re going start taking small steps each and every day towards that guiding star that you’ve identified. Number eight is play the long game, and that’s very much related. And the idea that comes to mind, or the example that comes to mind is with a diet.
And I don’t know about you, but it’s very easy to set these really strict goals and in particular at the beginning of the year, January, you’re going to go to the gym like crazy, going to not eat any sugar and so on. And then you have that one piece of cake and then you give up completely. Oh, I’ve had that cake. Or at least you know the next day you have cake again and biscuits and then you know what, there’s no point. Might as well just pick out the rest of the week and have pizza. And then you’re back to probably a worse situation than you were before.
The key is to play the long game.
So okay, today nobody showed up to my webinar. That’s okay. I’m going to redo it next month and then I’ll learn from my mistake this time and there’ll be more people next time. Or today I didn’t get that client, but I’m going to redouble my efforts and send more proposals and make sure I have a really great pitch planned and keep working on my skills, keep working on myself, keep showing up every day playing the long game, building that longterm brand.
Working towards your long term health goals, knowing that you have this big picture vision in the future, whatever it is related to, and a few little setbacks along the way don’t matter. You’ll learn, you’ll get stronger. You’ll have that confidence and resilience to pick yourself up and know that you will still succeed. It’s just a matter of when. So play the long game and don’t give up just because you happen to have a bit of a setback. Oh, I was ill over Christmas. Now the whole year is gone because I’m unable to plan my year perfectly. No. We can take that imperfect action and play that long game. And then finally, number nine is to get your support system in place because you can’t do this alone, or at least you probably don’t want to. So this is all around finding your tribe.
It’s finding the people who will cheer you on, not those people who will throw doubts on you and judge you and criticise and ask you why on earth are you doing that and not getting it and so on. So really going out, finding online, offline communities, finding a coach, a mentor who’s a few steps ahead of you to guide you in the direction that you want to go. And by the way, that could be in business. It could be a relationship coach, it could be a health coach, it could be a personal trainer is a typical one we work with. Somebody, there’s a reason why we have these people. They give us the accountability, the tailored plans and the support that we need to actually work towards those incredible goals that we’ve put in place. So having that support system, mentors, peers, cheerleaders, and so on. Accountability partners, that’s absolutely critical.
So those are the nine principles that I’m working on at the moment. So I’ll go back again to recap, but feel free to listen again because I know I’ve gone through these quite quickly and obviously I haven’t really double clicked on them today. This was more introducing them. And I hope you find those interesting and maybe you can see where there’s an opportunity for you to do more or do things a bit differently. So number one, get clear on what really matters in your life from a big picture perspective. Number two, you put the whats and the why before the how. Number three, stop thinking in black and white. Number four, examine and reframe your beliefs and assumptions. Number five, redefine what failure means. Number six, strip away the shoulds and protect yourself against other people’s judgement . Number seven, start small and take that one little step. Number eight, play the long game. And number 10, find your tribe and get that support system in place. So those are my nine principles of re-imagining success. Hope you enjoyed those and I will see you back here next week. And wish me best of luck with getting that book written in this year. Thank you so much. Talk to you next week. Bye for now.
Connect with Anna:
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
Level up with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate