Am I ENOUGH?

IMG_4844Fear is a part of every person’s journey in varying degrees. Fear can be crippling but it also can be compelling, depending on how you allow it to influence your life. Interestingly though, most fear isn’t real, it’s imagined. Our internal view of life, through which we filter everything, is where the greatest fears live, and when we give power to these fears, they can stop us from experiencing the life we truly desire to live and experience.

I have discovered more and more that the most common fear that appears to impact people in our culture is the fear of not being enough.

The fear of not being enough affects your sense of self-worth, self-esteem and our self-image. Everything you attempt to do is controlled by the need to be perfect, or at least good enough, so we are constantly trying to prove our worth and value to others. The fear of not being enough corrodes your confidence and certainty and creates a constant striving that is emotionally draining. This fear, or internal limiting belief, impacts your relationships, dreams, career, behaviour and decisions because deep down the fear of not being good enough drives you. It stops you trying new things, or taking risks in case you get it wrong, fail or stuff it up. It can creates unhealthy behaviours in relationships because you feel you constantly have to prove yourself, show that you’re good enough, or be perfect all the time. Unless you’re perfect, you feel you are a failure, which becomes emotionally and physically exhausting. We can then try to address the fear by working harder, striving more, doing more, getting busier and achieving, or we withdraw, hibernate and cut people off from our lives, or just give up.  Shame attaches itself to the “not good enough” feelings and thoughts, and leads to destructive unhelpful behaviour.

As you can see, this fear of not being good enough has the potential to negatively impact our lives, in varying degrees, and creating freedom from it is life changing.

So how do we overcome this fear and create freedom, resilience and empowered living? Here are some ideas on how you can start to take charge and control of this fear. The truth is, you are definitely enough. 

1/ Awareness – becoming aware that this fear or limiting belief exists is a good first step. I mean it is in us all in varying degrees, which is why they believe it is a universal fear, and awareness around it is critical. How does this limiting belief manifest itself in your life? Become more aware of its power over your life, your decisions, your behaviour, your relationships and most importantly your self-worth. Do you feel like you have to prove yourself? How do you view mistakes, failure and feedback? Are you a perfectionist, or controlling and simply lacking confidence and belief in yourself? Do you self sabotage when things seem to be going good?

2/ listen and change your language of self – what we tell ourselves has the power to create our reality. Language creates our culture of self. What are you telling yourself? Challenge your self-talk and re-frame it in a way that is resourceful to you. Question your thoughts – Ask yourself: “How true is this?”, “What evidence have I got to support this?”, “If a friend was saying this about themselves, what would I say to them?” “Who says that’s true, or where did I learn that?” “When did I decide I wasn’t good enough, and how is that belief helping me?” Learn to not believe the story that your mind is telling you.

3/ create new meaning and responses to old experiences – what meaning have you given to past events and experiences that reflect on who you are? Are they resourceful and helpful? The meaning you give to something will create your response and outcomes. You can’t change the event, but you have 100% power to change the meaning you give it and your response..

4/ be aware of who is in your grandstand – there are only so many seats in your grandstand of life, those who are your cheerleaders and voices of influence and honest feedback. Choose them carefully and wisely. They will either lift you or lower you. Call on the people in your life that will lift you, encourage you and challenge you …. in love. The ones you don’t have to prove yourself to.

5/ Acknowledge yourself – write down three things everyday that you can acknowledge about yourself, things you have overcome, thoughts you have questioned and re-framed … even the smallest shift you notice … acknowledge it. Practice gratitude – such a powerful life lifter is the art of becoming grateful. Write down 3 new things you are grateful for every day, and soon what you’re looking for in life changes. Even in yourself.

6/ take action – doing nothing will change nothing. Action leads to change and action is one thing that will help overcome fear and self doubt. Create some steps forward, even small ones to start with and celebrate your wins along the way. As they say, “feel the fear and do it anyway.” One of the greatest way to overcome fear, is action.

Experience the difference of greater confidence, self belief and worth. Have a brilliant day! Brett

 

the glorification of BUSY

AAEAAQAAAAAAAANeAAAAJGMxNDBkZTkwLTNiMWUtNGFjZi04MDQ1LTYzYTQ1NDIzMWI4ZgSo how are you ? BUSY! How’s your week been? BUSY!. Standard answer 101.

It’s almost like we would feel embarrassed to not say we’re busy. Our schedules are busier, our life is more frantic, our expectations are unrealistic and our bodies are exhausted. We add things into our schedule we don’t need, we work harder and longer to make ends meet, or just to be able to afford that 10 day holiday, which we worked 200 days for, often in a job we don’t like, doing things we are not passionate about. We can now work 7 days a week, everything is open, we can squeeze in the gym 24/7, have our kids in soccer, basketball, dancing and still have a night left over to get them some school tutoring, just so they can keep up. Our minds are busy, crazily busy. We over think most things, consume our brains with social media, constant visual and electronic stimulation and of course Pokemon go.

We are over thinking our over thinking … seriously! We look forward to our next 2 week holiday becasue we’re so busy crazy and really deep down we want to stop the world and get off for a while, and the holiday comes and we fill it up with so much stuff, adventures, plans, trips, activities, tasks and so on, that we need a holiday to get over our holiday. arghhhh

Here’s a couple of tips about overcoming our cultural busy addiction .. 

1/ Stop the glorification of BUSY. It’s not good for you, and its not good for others around you. Make a stand and BE STILL instead.

2/ choose your busy wisely. Does it align with your purpose and values? Does it add value to those close to you and yourself? Is it critical to your goals and desired outcomes? Change your language .. get rid of the word busy all together. If you are pursuing your dreams or goals, and you love a hectic full life … create new thinking around the idea of busy. How’s your week been? .. “it’s been so full and exciting”.

3/ learn the “no” word. It’s time to become OK with saying no. Yes you can say no my friends. If it doesn’t fit with the above then saying no is actually a brilliant idea. Learn to be OK with NOT being busy too. It’s culturally unacceptable I know but it’s exactly what some of us need. How’s your week been? “It’s been really slow and quiet and soooo good.”

4/ keep the gratitude up. Constantly stay thankful. Perspective is everything remember. Staying and growing in gratitude will help you stay positive and energised even in the chaotic crazy busy seasons.

5/ take your “time out”. Being over busy is not sustainable. Yes we have seasons that are a little crazy but it’s critical that we take time out to be still. Catch our breath. Rest and relax. Divert daily. Withdraw weekly. Abandon annually.

stopthe0aglorification0aofbusy0a-defaultHave an adventurous full week pursuing your dreams, and many moments of quiet and slow along the way🙂 Bretta

Going Beyond – Cambodia

IMG_3601Cambodia Connection: Cambodia is a uniquely beautiful country with a tragic and chaotic past. Since the devastation of the Khmer Rouge, where a third of the population was massacred, the country has been rebuilding itself. It has been a tough journey but I have noticed an incredible sense of hope with the emerging leaders that are rising up to help create a future for the next generation.

I have been serving, training and equipping leaders in Cambodia for four years now and it is an incredible privilege to be able to utilize all my learnings from my own journey to help empower young leaders in a broken yet recovering nation. It doesn’t matter where you go, people want the same things in life; significance, hope, love, purpose and community.

IMG_3575Global Principles: Initially I was curious as to how the life principles, tools and strategies I had learnt and applied to my own life would fit in a culture so uniquely different to my own. Principles, learnings, tools and behavioural understandings that I use to empower leaders here in Australia are brilliant, but how would they work in this diverse, chaotic and developing nation?

I have learnt a lot from this journey, and despite my hesitation of how it might work, I said yes and dove in head first. What I soon discovered in the young leaders in Cambodia was a hunger and eagerness to learn and apply the very same principles I use and teach in Australia. In short, they loved them and embraced these new ideas and concepts with enthusiasm. For many it has been like switching on a light of self-discovery, learning and empowerment that is enabling them to create powerful change in their relationships, leadership and communities.

IMG_3847Messages of Change: The methods of teaching and communication are quite different, as our cultures are, but the key learnings and principles, the message is the same. The messages of meaning, focus, map, cause and effect, above and below the line, emotional strategies, core needs and behavioural energy correlate well in any culture, and the fruit I am seeing and experiencing is stunning. In a culture that has often just accepted and believed that “this is how it is”, is now rising up with a fresh hope and belief that “we can change how it is, because I can change myself“. So exciting.

Beautifully, through my own learning, I have been able to develop a new stream of teaching called “global culturing”, helping emerging leaders understand the diverse way different cultures communicate, give feedback, make decisions, build trust and structure teams. This is deeply empowering because the leaders here are often working with and alongside leaders from many other foreign cultures.

IMG_3706Leading Beyond: The very essence of the life principles, learnings and strategies I have learnt from my study are now changing lives in the developing world. What a privilege to be part of a community that is changing the world one life at a time. I believe leadership is about influencing and empowering others to grow beyond where they are, to where they never dreamed they could be.

Brett White

Is 80% enough?

imageI have observed a behavioural pattern in people that I would describe as giving 80% commitment, but expecting 100% results.

I have experienced this in my own journey at times and have personally been challenged this last month about my own journey. People generally don’t give 100% to the things they want to achieve or be successful in. Why is this the case I asked myself? What stops us from giving 100% effort, commitment and devotion to our business, marriage, parenting, desired outcomes or goals?

Three mottos I have observed: 1/ the “just in case” syndrome 2/ the cost is too great” philosophy and 3/ the “it’s safer here” ideology.

Just in case: if I give 100% and it doesn’t work out, I won’t have anything left. So I will give 80% just in case it doesn’t work and I need 20% in reserve for something / someone else. It’s easier to give something 80%, but is that enough? I don’t think so. We subconsciously (and often deliberately) give less than 100% just in case it doesn’t work out or something better catches our eye. The grass is greener approach.

Cost is too great: The cost of giving 100% is indeed great. The cost of giving 60% or 80% is less but then so are the chances of success. It might cost me less to give part of myself to my marriage for example, but what kind of relationship do I want, or expect to have, with minimal effort? If I want to get fit, am I satisfied with reaching 60% of my goal? Is near enough really good enough in the long term journey of my life? What do I really want out of my relatively short life on this planet?

Safer here: Yes it feels safer and more comfortable to give a half-hearted investment. We don’t want to look fanatical now do we. 100% can initially create a level of uncertainty, and that can mean anxious thoughts. It’s risky. 100% doesn’t guarantee success, so I better keep some in reserve, so I am not totally committed. One foot in the safe and certainty zone. That’s me. I find uncertainty a challenge but I am learning everyday to embrace uncertainty more and more. As they say, “in the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take”.

Ultimately I want great relationships and an extraordinarily successful business. I want to achieve my desired outcomes and I need to give 100% to these, everyday. It’s a choice. What about you ?

Have a brilliant day and give it 100%. Brett

SHiFT sessions

Tuesday 14th June, 2016. 7pm at 9 Resolution Drive, Nth Caringbah

$40 / person

Key Topics: Building Resilience, Overcoming Fear & Purpose Alignment
Book NOW at: brett.shift@gmail.com
Building Resilience – We live in an under resilient culture where lives are thrown into chaos by even the smallest of challenges and trials. How can we build a stronger inner grunt and walk through life, with its challenges, setbacks and trials, without being thrown into chaos, anxiety and distraction. You are stronger than you think.

Overcoming fear – We all have our fears, a lot of them lie beneath the surface waiting to raise their ugly heads, often when we least expect it. Creating awareness around your fears, and developing some strategies to help overcome them will empower your life and future.

Purpose Alignment – we all have a unique contribution to bring to our world. A mix of passions, values and talents that make us unique and special. When we work, play and relate, with alignment to our purpose, we become more energized, fulfilled and content. Discover yours and take the steps to align your world to it.

The question we need answered

imageIf I could make one post go viral, this would be it. I feel this is critical. Read it and then pass it on, and help get the message out there. The big questions young people are asking as they grow up are: do I have what it takes, and do you notice me. These are not external, literally asked questions, but questions of the soul. Generally speaking, it is the boy becoming a man who asks “do I have what it takes?” and the girl becoming a woman who asks “do you notice me?”

If these questions are not answered in healthy and resourceful ways by the significant people in a young person’s life, they will seek to have them answered in unhealthy ways, mostly subconsciously. This could include anything from bullying, fighting, self-harm, promiscuity, sexting and drug use, to lying, withdrawal and creating drama.

They are not literally asking them, and they are often not aware that their soul is craving and searching for the answer to these questions, but so much of a young person’s behaviour, reactions, decisions and interaction is driven by these soul searching questions.

Do I have what it takes?
Do I have what it takes to be a man, am I strong enough, courageous enough, respected and believed in? These are the question a boy’s soul is asking and they are deep searching questions. For the most part, it will be other men that help answer these questions for a boy, although the significant females are critical too.
Their peers jostle and fight for the same answers, but ultimately it will be older men (and woman) that will best affirm them in that journey of discovery. The father obviously plays a key role here, but also the uncle, the grandfather, the teacher, the football coach and other close older male role models.

Do you notice me?
Am I beautiful, valued, worthy, loved, adored and believed in? These are the questions a girl’s soul is asking. They are also very deep internal questions that need to be answered, particularly by a girl’s father and other key people in their lives. Young girls will search for this answer, and put themselves out there in all kinds of ways, because of the inner yearning to have this question answered.

Why am I telling you this?
I know that most of you who will read this are already adults, and I am sure in reflection you can see the power of these soul questions in your own journey, I can certainly see it in my own. I am personally convinced that ultimately these questions can only be fully answered by connecting our souls with our creator God, the spiritual journey, and by an internal self-belief that isn’t swayed by the actions and opinions of others.

In saying that, you all have a part to play, as a friend, a brother, a dad or mum, a coach or as a significant person in the life of a younger one. I am writing this because I see and connect with many young people 16-24 who have never really had these soul questions answered growing up, and it has massive impacts on how they see themselves and behave as young adults. If these questions are not answered, the search will continue throughout the adult life, through all kinds of destructive, unhelpful and hurtful behaviour.

Think about your own journey and about the impact these yearnings have had for you. Do you know in your soul that you are noticed and loved, that you have what it takes and are respected? Then think about how you can affirm these deep soul questions in the life of those young people around you. Be the one who helps answer the questions of the soul. Send this blog to young people and parents you know as a must read.

Thanks and have a brilliant day. Brett

Reverse Bullying

imageThis is not a term I had heard before until a recent conversation with a friend of mine. We were talking about her teenage daughter and the pressures to conform to certain practices. The expectations that friends have each other, sometimes quite innocently, put a lot pressure on them. Pressure to conform, to do what everyone else is doing and be “included” in the group. I guess I would have called it “peer pressure” and in many ways it is just that, but the idea of reverse bullying has captured my attention.

Traditionally bullying is about using superior strength to intimidate or force someone into doing something, or feel something. It focuses on rejection, fear and hurt. Reverse bullying is the passive version of the same idea, and is not just for those who may not like you. Your closest friends can just as easily engage in this practice, particularly through social media. Reverse bullying uses a different method and has different motivation, but the outcomes can be the same. The method is around the ideas of acceptance and belonging, which are very strong desires for everyone, particularly young people. The method and focus are more subtle, focusing on inclusion, tribe and culture (likes on IG, friends on FB and other expectations on snap chat etc).

We need to raise awareness around this kind of behaviour and help people, particularly young people, to be courageous and resilient in the midst or their desire to belong to the tribe. I would be very interested in your thoughts around this topic, and welcome feedback here or via my email: brett.shift@gmail.com

Thanks heaps friends and have a great day. Brett

Resilience

imageThere is a lot out there at the moment about the philosophy and practice of resilience, and how to build it in your world. At a session I was leading for football coaches this week, one of the big discussion items was about how young people today have very little resilience. Ironically the very next evening I was at a training event, and the topic was of course, resilience. So I thought I would share some of my own thoughts, learnings and insights about what it takes to build resilience.

Firstly, how is it that so many young people are growing up without a strong sense of resilience? I have some theories, as I am sure you do, and they’re not new by any means. Here’s three of them:

We praise results, instead of effort: With this focus, we are creating a culture where winning and getting results is what is rewarded. This in turn minimizes the role of effort in the journey of life, learning and growth. It fuels the fear of not being good enough, because culture says you are only good enough if you win, or get certain results. This in turn leads to a culture that doesn’t give permission to get it wrong or “fail”.

Failure Phobia: This fear of failure means that people are reluctant to try, or put effort into something they don’t feel confident they can get right. It distracts genuine learning, and the truth that all greatness involves lessons learnt through failure, mistakes and stuff ups. Young people are therefore scared of failing, because they don’t have the permission. We then feel we need to protect our kids from the valuable lessons and character building that come through failure, like resilience. There really is no such thing as failure, only feedback that can help us grow, develop and become more successful, and that’s the next issue.

Fighting Feedback: Feedback and constructive criticism have become dirty words, and things we generally avoid in our culture. Instead of seeking feedback, we avoid it. This isn’t helpful to anyone who truly wants to grow and become the best they can be. Our feelings have become so fragile, that it’s like we are constantly walking on eggshells. Healthy and challenging feedback is critical to building resilience in all of us. Invite feedback, seek it out and learn all you can from it.

Building Resilience

Don’t take yourself too seriously. We have to learn to laugh at ourselves, learn to be comfortable with being wrong and not getting our own way.
Embrace setbacks. Of course we don’t want trials, setbacks or suffering, the storms of life, but the reality is that these are the very things that strengthen us, build resilience and create depth of character. We try and protect our kids, and ourselves, from these things, and rescue them continually, but in doing so they don’t learn that part of life is learning how to walk through and deal with setbacks, challenges and even suffering.
Choose the people you allow into your world carefully. Some people in our lives are toxic, negative and draining. These people need to be removed because they wear us down, demand for us and sap our emotional energy. You can’t build resilience without investing into your own emotional well being.
Be curious and aware of who you are. Developing a deep awareness around what motivates you, drives you and what creates fear is critical in developing resilience. This takes courage to really get to know yourself and rumble with what your learn and discover as you go. You can’t change what you’re not aware of, so self awareness is key.

These are a few of my reflections and I trust are a helpful and thought provoking.

Have a brilliant day, Brett.

Be Brave

imageA courageous life is when we become brave enough to let who we really are shine so bright that we lift up those around us to shine even brighter. This means being vulnerable and moving beyond our insecurities about who we are.

I believe we all want to be courageous, and live a life marked by personal bravery. This will mean different things to different people, and discovering your own personal bravery path is essential. Without courage in this fiercely judgmental world, we will shrink into a life of insignificance and regret. You were not created to shrink, you were created to shine, and your shining is what takes courage. Shrinking back is easy, anyone can do that, but shining forth takes courage, mindful love and deliberate consistency.

When we shrink back, stay safe, hide and resign from life, we lose the very essence of who we are meant to be. Our courageous life is ultimately about becoming who we are meant to be, living out of our purpose and in doing so empowering others to rise up and live a courageous life. Our courage inspires others. Personal bravery gives permission for others around you to be brave. To conquer their fear, to do it afraid, to step out, to try again, to go after their dreams. We become an inspiration for others to rise up, explore life, come out of hiding and become who they were created to be. A courageous life is less about what you do, and more about who you are becoming.

Living a courageous life, is a non-judgmental pathway that allows our life to be a gift to others. It is a courageous life because it’s not self-absorbed, but others focused. In a world that says it’s all about me, living for the benefit, blessing and well-being of others takes courage. It is against the grain.

Be brave. Rise up. Take heart. Shine bright. Live courageously

Expectations are killing you

IMG_1988Unmet expectations will create significant disappointment, frustration and anger. Are expectations a bad thing though? I do not believe they are, in fact, to live without any expectations would not really be living at all. Some people suggest that we lower our expectations to avoid disappointment, but I say “make your expectations valid”. This is the issue about expectations that is important to explore; are they valid expectations or not.

When you think about it, we are bombarded with expectations from very early on in our lives, about all areas of life: expectations about how we will speak, dress and perform in different areas; expectations in dating and relationships; financial, career and study expectations; expectations in the school yard, the work place or the church; marriage, family, parenting expectations … and so on and so on and so on.

I have expectations of people, of leaders, of staff, and of my family. They also have expectations of me, and then there are the expectations I have on myself, and these ones can be the hardest to live up to.

There are lots of expectations flying around in our worlds, and my guess is that on average about 85-95% of our expectations are invalid, and therefore create frustration, anger and disappointment.

I understand that this phenomenon is at work all the time in our careers, our families, our marriages, and in our friendships. It can be crippling … but expectations can also be really empowering.

How do we make the shift?

The key is simple in theory, maybe more complicated in reality. The primary reason why people are left angry, disappointed and frustrated in relation to expectations is because most expectations are invalid, and usually this is because of the following:

  • Communicated– If people are not even aware the expectation exists, it can never be valid. We need to communicate what our expectations are, even of ourselves.
  • Clarified– Often expectations are communicated but not clarified, and this can be just as frustrating. For example I communicate to my staff that I expect them to be early to our leadership event next week. There is still a lot of assumptions people can make about this expectation. So I need to clarify it. I really mean that I need you there 45 minutes early, ready to help set up and then greet clients as they arrive.
  • Agreed upon – Finally, expectations need to be agreed upon. Once I have communicated and clarified my expectations, I need to ask for agreement. Once agreement is made, the expectation becomes valid.

Check this out: In order for an expectation to be valid, it must be mutually agreed upon.

For expectations to be empowering, they need to be valid. You could ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the person aware I have this expectation? 2) Have I clearly, directly and respectfully spoken out my expectation to them? 3) Has the other person agreed to the expectation?

This simple understanding about expectations can be life changing. Expectations that are valid are empowering. They can lead to better relationships, more effective teams, greater unity and more fruitfulness and productivity. They also can eliminate a lot of frustration and disappointment.

Have a great week! Brett