Self-worth is a funny thing. I used to think that when I ran my first marathon, my life would change forever. Well, I felt a little bit special for a day or two, but then quickly forgot about it. Then, I was convinced that after I did my first parachute jump, for sure I would feel different, and amazing! Well, I felt a little bit special for a day or two, but then quickly forgot about it. How about I learn to ride a motorbike, climb a mountain, and get a tattoo!? Same, same, same!
At last, when I started doing NLP, I began to advance. And the best thing about it was that it was happening on the inside. It was not because of anything external, a medal, a book review, or a new Suzuki. For the past four years, I can honestly say that not one day has gone by when I have not put the philosophy of NLP into practice. And change has been taking place: internally, for external results. Just to illustrate this point, someone I had not seen in several years actually came to a presentation I gave a few weeks ago; she put a message on my Facebook page afterward to say it was good to see me looking, “So full of energy, and oozing confidence.” Well, no surprise there. One of the things we often say you can do with NLP is facilitate positive change… We are not joking when we say that!
How about the rate of this change, then? Will achieving one significant shift regarding a specific problem happen in isolation? I think you may well discover that, in the context of learning NLP, implementing a solution for one particular issue will provoke a solid chain-reaction of transformation within yourself. When in the past, it took me a while to learn some important life lessons, now I am a lot quicker. For instance, before I had the opportunity, on my first-ever NLP coaching experience, to reflect on the fact that ‘There is no failure, only feedback’, I used to take the concept of failure extremely seriously! Whenever I perceived that I had failed at something, I would hang on to the feeling, add a good dose of anger to the mix, and punish myself for not being good enough. Now, I know there is no such thing as failure, only results. So, when I ‘fail’, I do three simple things:
- Quickly gather the learnings from the event: make sure they are positive, meaningful to me, and powerful for the future;
- Feel grateful for the experience, and,
- Simply crack on.
Thanks to NLP, I am able now to independently develop and accelerate my own rate of change. To learn quicker, and adjust in a more meaningful, focused manner. I understand as well the mechanics of being a human being in this world better. And I do like myself a lot more as a result!
Have you seen the film Money Monster, by the way? Great movie! I watched an interview of Director Jodie Foster afterward; when asked if her self-worth depends on the success of any of her films, not surprisingly, she replied, “Absolutely not!” And she went on to explain that on the last day before one comes out, she always sends an email out to her entire team to say, “Congratulations, we made a movie!” Because that is a tremendous achievement, period. I feel the same way about the books I write. Regardless of what reviews I may get, what matters more than anything is the achievement of creating something deeply meaningful to me. We should not underestimate the value of recognising and enjoying our successes, whatever they may be, whenever we have them. It’s good to celebrate!
I will end this blog with an observation; I once heard someone say, “If you hesitate to put out a product you are embarrassed about, you are waiting too long.” This makes me cringe rather ferociously! And yet, I also understand the concept of starting now, and building on it later. Because you will never be ready! What I would say is, “Don’t hesitate to do the things you want to do right now, just because you are not performing at the level you know you are capable of achieving – yet.” In time, it will come. But you will never get there unless you start. And there is no such thing as perfection anyway. Whether it’s a book, a movie, or your own life, what may seem perfect to you right now might not look so excellent a year or two down the line… Whenever that happens, be happy; it means you are growing. And keep moving forward, doing new things, and above all: loving yourself, and enjoying your experience of life.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar