You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great – Joe Sabah
This has been my inspiration throughout the past week as I have been putting new projects together, taking deep breaths and putting myself out there as I cut and paste my dreams together. I have been repeating this quote in my head with much emphasis on the word ‘great’. I am a great believer in the power of positive thinking. But then I realised the quote reminded me of Kellogg’s Frosties’ Tony the Tiger every time I said ‘great’. I fell about laughing, had an idea, and now my mantra goes something like this: every morning as I look in the mirror with crazy bed hair and blurry eyes:
Bring out the tiger in you!
Earn your stripes!
I highly recommend you all try this, especially with a Tony the Tiger voice and a deep throaty grrrrr when you reach the word great. It is also essential that you point at your reflection in the mirror as you say each line. After all you are telling yourself you are great! It is impossible not to laugh (go on, try it now) and is a brilliant start to the day. Through the power of Tony we can all become breakfast cereal icons of our time….or something even better. Is there anything better than being a cereal icon?
I have also been spending a large amount of my time doing visualisation exercises, as I have decided that if my mind believes I can achieve something and it can visualise me doing it repeatedly…..success is certain. I genuinely believe this is the case and I know this isn’t a new idea. It is something that professional athletes (and others) use all of the time. But it has been really interesting putting it into practice in my own way and for my own life. I have a huge fear of removing my scuba mask; enough to give me sleepless nights before every dive and to leave me feeling panicked and short of breath. My mind genuinely believes that removing my mask could quite possibly be the end of my life. It is not fun, it is exhausting, but I am on the journey to overcoming it to achieve my dreams of teaching others to dive. I have been undergoing hypnosis and learning about visualisation techniques where I imagine taking my scuba mask off underwater step by step and in different scenarios. I am delighted to say it is working even when I imagine it occurring at 30m depth. The first few attempts were ‘interesting’ as I ended up feeling panicked despite the fact I was actually sat on my sofa at the time with a cuppa. I nearly walked away at that point and decided that perhaps I should just be a land-mermaid in future. However, with a bit of perseverance and chocolate as my incentive, I am winning. I am a tad stuck on visualising taking my mask off at 30m (it still raises my heart rate now as I type) but I have found a sneaky way around it to trick my brain. What is my favourite thing in the whole world? Sharks. Any shark, the bigger and closer to me the better. So to make removing my mask acceptable to my mind, I visualise being in the presence of a beautiful whale shark as she just so happens to knock my mask off with her giant tail. Then I don’t mind, as I am just so excited to be hanging out with a shark and disappointed I can’t see her until I sort my mask out.
Four weeks ago I couldn’t even picture removing my mask without having a racing heart and being short of breath. Now I genuinely believe, no, rewrite that…Now I KNOW I can take my mask off and not die. And yes I realise this may sound ridiculous to those of you that don’t have this fear but trust me it is a big achievement and the visualisation techniques can be applied to all sorts of fears.
Given this visualisation business works so well, I am going to town with it on all of the things I wish to achieve. I am creating the life I dream of in my mind and then making it all happen. It is certainly one way to engage my creative mind. So what would you do? I encourage you to take ten minutes to visualise your life dreams and actually see them happening in your mind. It is the first step to making them come true. If your mind believes you can be successful you are well on the way to achieving whatever it is you want. You have the Intention and if you give it some Attention you will Succeed.
My visualisation goes something like this…I am creating beautiful artwork for sale, standing up in front of audiences singing in a jazz bar. I am a fantastic dive instructor and mentor for others, an ambassador for sharks. I help others manage their fears and achieve their dreams, I am surrounded by sharks, cakes, sunshine and culture and to top it all off I have my scuba diving buddy for life by my side. I may even let him share my cake – but not my dessert. I don’t share desserts – that is my one rule in life and yes I know it sounds mean but really it just makes sense. Desserts are way too small to share when you have a separate dessert stomach like I do. I should add that obviously I won’t be doing all of these activities at the same time. I am not quite sure I can visualise diving with a great white shark, taking my mask off, keeping an eye on my students and eating a cake all at the same time. I think I may end up with cake in my eyes – such a waste of cake.
So go on then. Now it’s your turn. What will you visualise and make happen in your life that you have always dreamed of? It doesn’t matter how big or small your dream may be, what is it? It is YOUR dream and it is your responsibility to make it happen. Take a deep breath and try. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and how visualisation works for you.
I have also been pondering with my colleagues how I can exit the stage in style on Friday, as this is my last week at my current place of work. Given I work in an office and my role is regulatory and customer focussed, my options are somewhat limited. So far we have come up with the following:
a) Take over the office tannoy system and sings songs to the entire office. Songs to include…
– Merv Griffin’s ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts’ with gestures, accent and all http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf670orHKcA
– Monty Python’s ‘Always look on the bright side of life’. Surely I could get the office to join in on this one with clapping and general merriment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJUhlRoBL8M
– Erasure’s ‘Give a little respect’. Purely because it’s one of my favourite songs of all time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x34icYC8zA0
I ask you all to go and listen to these songs now and see if it makes you smile and giggle just a little.
b) Turn up to my customers’ sites in a hi-viz bikini instead of my usual hi-viz jacket. That would certainly liven up the day but may also be the death of me in this weather
– Evidently I won’t be demonstrating this on here or providing pictures
c) Make everyone a big cake. No surprises this was the most popular option along with going to the pub after work
I think I am most likely to go with option (c) but won’t rule out option (a) as that would be priceless.
I have also decided I am going to finish with a flourish at my last lane swimming session. If you have seen my previously blog post Swimming Ridiculous you will know all about my ‘swimming’. I am really going to miss Burt with his pants on his head. Anyway, for my last session I have decided I am going to….drum roll please….swim in the fast lane of doom. I am nowhere near fast enough to do this but I feel it is important to be able to say ‘yes, I swim in the fast lane’. I am little bit scared, not quite sure how this will turn out. But I am going to do it and I AM going to keep up with the nutters that inhabit this lane even if it kills me. All of those triangle shouldered athletes that swim as if being chased by a bear had better watch out. The Hodgson and her multi-coloured swim cap are on the move (albeit slowly). I hope I don’t panic like the first time I went in the medium lane, couldn’t keep up and swam into the lane barriers with a tear in my eye.
Have a great week all and get practising visualising your dreams and making them come true. If I can do it, you can too.