Personal Practices

Dream Coach ® Step #7

With a lot of us, it’s kind of like, what happened? And what does it mean about me? This is different than what I like to teach, which is what happened and what did you learn?

Dream Coach Process - Step 7 - Personal Practices

What’s most important in this step is that you look back on things that happened in your life and really try to understand and assess those events. What did you learn, and what do you want to do differently? My secret source in this arena is all about developing personal practices. Think about it, if you want to get greater muscle, you go to the gym three times a week. If you want to have greater capacity for creativity or inner peace, you meditate 20 minutes a day. Well, we want to look at what is it that you’re wanting to create, or develop and create a personal practice to support you in developing greater capacity.

Any time there’s a behavior that you’re wanting to change or a new skill that you’re wanting to develop, a personal practice is the perfect way to accomplish that goal. People often talk about using practices to overcome issues and big obstacles, such as procrastination, overcommitting, negative self-talk, etc., and the way it works is pretty simple. You want to catch yourself in the act of doing the old behavior you want to change. Let’s say that I’m walking down the street, I walk by a window and I get a glimpse of myself, and I don’t like how I look, and maybe I activate my doubter or negative self-talk. The idea is to catch yourself in the act, and then put on the proverbial pause button, take a breath and try a different behavior.

In that moment, I might come back to my foundation or fundamental belief that we talked about in the last step. I might just say something kind to myself. I can then start to reprogram my brain and tell myself a new story as opposed to just being hijacked by my doubt or limiting beliefs.

My brief assignment for today is, take a moment and think about one thing that you want to change or that you want to develop. See if you can break it down into, “Today I will do X behavior.” Let me give you a more specific example. A woman told me that her complaint was she was spread so thin. She was an artist who thought she was spread so thin that she didn’t have time to paint. I said, well, how about this as a practice? Every day for one hour a day, whatever you’re doing, you continue to do it until the buzzer goes off or until you complete it. That means, if you’re checking email and the phone rings, you let it roll into voicemail. And she got enraged, she said to me, “Are you kidding? This is going to stifle my creativity.” Well, I said, “I believe a little structure allows for more creativity.”

Every day she was going to call and leave me a voicemail. The first day she called me and she yelled at me. “You don’t get me. This is a bad practice.” The second day she said, “I lasted five minutes. I’ll try it one more time.” The third day, she got vulnerable and said, “I wonder why I’m not making time for what’s important to me.” By the end of the week, she said, “Can I do this for another week?” By the end of the month, she was more organized and more streamlined. By the end of three months, she had sold more paintings than she had the entire previous year! Then she hired an assistant who was in the office managing the details for her.

A personal practice is when you focus in on a specific thing that you believe is your Achilles heel. It’s getting in your way, and you want to have a different relationship with it. Write down one behavior you’re wanting to develop, or something that you’re wanting to change. And then just very simply practice doing something different today that will support you in moving forward. I think you’re going to like this lesson. I personally use this personal practice all the time and it really is key to helping me grow and develop.

A practice is something you do on an ongoing basis, which is different than when I’m going to talk to you about in Dream Coach ® Step, where we talk about Creating Projects and taking serious steps forward to make your dreams a reality. See you in the next Dream Coach ® Step.

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