The Voices Made Me Do It


So, it’s not that often that you really test yourself, right? I mean, that’s not just me is it, that sometimes has that fleeting feeling (OK sometimes more lingering than fleeting) that I might be, just a little, sitting on the side lines of life a bit much?? Anyone? No? Yes?  Are there other self-called-“in-betweeners” out there? Maybe you’re an over-achiever having an attack of conscience; maybe you just don’t quite tackle life with the vivre that you used to and sometimes that bothers you… maybe, I don’t know – you’ve had a couple kids and somewhere along the way you got seriously responsible and in your darkest moments in the darkest corners of your mind you might even use the word ‘boring’ or at least sickeningly reasonable to describe yourself.   Like, with a capital S – maybe….



Here’s the thing, I originally jumped mostly because I didn’t like the idea that I was letting fear hold me back. How’s that for messed up? lol Happily, I managed to change my focus from debilitating fear, to adrenalin-pumping excitement and that meant I was able to enjoy every moment – me ‘she-who-analyses-and-is-super-careful’…. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still had butterflies aflocking en-masse in my stomach for days beforehand and I had a few ‘oh shit!!’ moments throughout (I cleaned up the language. You’re welcome).



But from the moment I stepped into that harness till the moment I came down to earth again (bodily at least), I had a manic grin stuck on my face. It was nothing short of epic and I can’t find the words to explain everything I felt, and how incredible it was. I could NOT stop smiling…. I mean I have about 300 photos of the 30 minute adventure and I am smiling in about 295 of them.  It’s funny, in the photos, Danny, the instructor-type-guy has this cool repertoire of faces and poses for the go-pro and pics, while I, it turns out, when pushed out of an airplane, instantly and consistently adopt gangsta hand gestures and a completely incongruent, ridiculously large and somewhat maniacal goofy grin.

It’s like it was an automatic response; as if my hands are trying to be cool but they didn’t let my face in on the plan; honestly, I just couldn’t get the grin off my face, I was having that much fun.


Oh shit

Oh shit


My internal voice from roller coaster rides that literally screams “I’M GONNA DIE” had been magically (O.K. it was via NLP rather than magic in the classic Houdini sense) transformed into “I WAS MADE FOR THIS. I AM FLYING. THIS IS AWESOME. OH MY GOD. HOLY COW!) (I may have used an alternative non-noun in place of ‘cow’). But, well, you get the idea. I had a ball. I lived in the moment. I accepted the fear as part of the excitement and went with it and the experience I created as a result was incredibly gratifying, uplifting (if you’ll excuse the pun) and highly rewarding (yep pun city here lol). What’s more is it didn’t go as I expected. I mean I was hopeful but by no means sure I was going to enjoy this. I literally took a spare pair of pants and undies just in case my excitement trans-mutated back into bowel-loosening fear and a fresh pair of undies was required. So, in that context, you can (I hope) forgive a bit of self-congratulation here – no additional change of clothes were needed at any point! It was much, much more, and far more enjoyable than I expected. It was everything I had dreamed even. Go me. OK, enough self-congratulations, this is appalling. I apologise – my only excuse is I am still high, lol. But enough about little old me…

What can YOU get out of this?

Two things: 1. I’m laying down the gauntlet – a challenge to the dormant awesomeness that is also in you. Let it out! Go be awesome. Don’t wait. Don’t be reasonable. Don’t put everyone and everything else first. Not this time. Go do something crazy fun and don’t apologise for it or even look back at the people gawking as you do it. Live your life at a level you never have, even if it’s just for a while. Do something that scares you just a bit – or even a lot. Do it because you can and because you’re worth it (sorry Lorreal, we knew that before you knicked it). Do it because you owe it to your future self who will otherwise look back and hate you for wasting the chances you didn’t even realise you were missing because you were to busy with life or business as usual. If you’re a ‘toward person’ (motivated to achieve something), do it because you can imagine all the epic fun or havoc you could wreak when you engage your curiosity and adopt your own unique ‘what the hell’ attitude….


If you’re an ‘away from person’ (motivated to avoid bad/negative things) do it because your future self will indeed metaphorically (or perhaps literally depending on technological advances in time travel by then) one day otherwise reach back through time and kick your butt for being so complacent and maybe even just a little boring. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there will be time for your awesome adventures later. That is arrogant and short-sighted and quite possibly false. Greatness happens when you push your boundaries. Go be great. And #2? Don’t stop, make it a habit. This is a reminder to myself too, as well as a call to action for you. Have you heard people say of motivation or awesome leadership or the like “If only we could bottle this, we’d be rich!” So bottle the energy, (anchor that feeling you create during your awesome adventure – any good NLP practitioner can quickly help you learn how to do this) and make it work for you over time. My plan now is to harness this new feeling of aliveness and able-ness and achievement I created today by doing something so epic and challenging, and to keep that new energy going.



I want to ride this high to new heights of happiness & achievement and I can see how I’m going to do that. I’m going to use the renewed energy and self-confidence I’ve found to do more EVERY DAY, even if it’s just one small thing, because we know don’t we, that is the many little things that make the difference, as much as the less frequent big decisions. Thus, through small changes in my actions, focus, habits and beliefs I’m going to make an even more magical and amazing life than I already have – for myself and my wonderful little whanau. My first step was writing this blog – my audacity to recognise my awesomeness yesterday and share it to hopefully resonate with and inspire your own. My second step/process is to implement a daily check – I’m going to ask myself ‘and what else can I do?’ and ‘what else do I want more of or less of, or to be different’. And what have I or will I do today to get it? Then I’m gonna chase that like a dog chases a stick: With joy and excitement and energy, enjoying all the moments along the way.


So, that’s a bit about my skydive. That started with one step. Admittedly it was a very long step. J Never-the-less today I challenged myself to do more than I was sure I could do, and my reward was priceless. I’d love to hear what you do if what I’ve shared resonates with you too. Feel free to drop me a line. P.S. Originally I was going to talk about NLP and the specific processes (chaining anchors and anchoring mostly) I used to prepare for this. If such NLP processes & solutions interest you please feel free to contact me, I’m happy to tell you more. In the meantime, focus less on the mundane and make your whole life an adventure one small change at a time; get outside your comfort zone, be awesome and don’t stop – who knows, perhaps we’ll see each other long the way.

The 6 Secrets to Staying Motivated: #3 – Fake it TO Make it!

OK, so we’ve all heard of the mind-body link and you can probably think if you try now of a time when you weren’t sure if your mood created your day or your day created your mood. The answer of course is yes. Both are true.

What we focus on determines our thoughts and feelings, which influences our actions, which creates the results we get and all of this is driven by our beliefs. Logical when you think about it – but have  you stopped to consider the incredible ramifications?  This means if I’m not living the day/life I want to live, I can start to change that simply by changing my thinking and my behaviours.  In a nutshell -

3 - fake it till you make it CEO at desk

If you’re not yet as successful as you want to be: fake it TO make it! It’s not cheating, its a step on the path to your success – yes, I’ll explain…





3 - fake it till you make it - smiley face held up in front of head

If you’re not as happy as you want to be: fake it TO make it so.







3 - fake it till you make it - Ali

This is the age old ‘chicken vs egg’ conundrum: which comes first? Your excellence or your belief it is so?  Your happinesss or your decision to be happy?  If the idea of faking it bothers you, consider that even for the most successful people in the world, the knowing did not necessarily come before the doing, the ‘being great’ could not possibly come before creating the situations in which they proved themselves to be so, and in fact, the ‘knowing how’ did not necessarily precede the acceptance of the challenge that they would find a way.  The great people that have gone before us took a leap of faith – sink or swim style and realised they could swim.  Before we can prove we can, we need to create the opportunity or platform to perform.  In this way we NEED to fake it TO make it. So…

Will you?

And what does this mean for you and staying motivated?

We often go through life thinking we need to avoid stress, only bite off as much as we can chew, but what we often forget to remember is that a certain level of stress (called ‘eustress’) is actually a good, motivating thing.  We NEED to challenge ourselves and stretch ourselves sometimes.   So, how do we turn this into actionable steps?

It’s simple really… Two thoughts worth thinking about:

2 - no victims model

If it feels scary, move your focus from just what could go wrong, to what could go right and really weigh it up – remember living happens outside of your comfort zone so challenge yourself - Make sure you venture outside of the known sometimes.

Remind yourself that that’s where excellence and growth occurs.  Without giving ourselves the opportunity to succeed our motivation can wane.

So, it’s worth considering that by putting yourself out there you create space and opportunity for new experiences, achievements and greater satisfaction and recognition.  Some people are motivated by internal satisfaction (that comes through stretching ourselves and knowing we did well), and others also enjoy external recognition – so go on – stretch yourself, focus on what is possible, even if you need to fake it for a while. You’ll likely surprise yourself and learn some amazing things along the way.

3 - fake it till you make it quote from katy perry

And, in summary – one final thought to leave you with.  It’s not so much fake it till you make it so much as fake it TO make it – simply because action begets opportunity, and putting yourself out there could be the step you’ve been missing till now, in creating your greater success, happiness and fulfillment!

So, go well and think big. Have a positive, productive and pro active day!

The 6 Secrets to Staying Motivated: #2 Live in the Moment

live in the moment - even when there are clouds its still fineWe’ve all heard it before, especially when things get tough… ‘Just take it one day at a time’, ‘live in the now’. But why is that such powerful advice, and more importantly, how do we do that (because sometimes it’s not so much wanting to do something that’s the challenge, but rather knowing how).

So, what’s so great about ‘now’? Did you know that if you’re truly ‘living in the now’ you can’t be doing depression or accessing anxiety?

When we live fully in the moment not only are we connected with those around us and engaged 100% in what we are doing – we are paying attention to the gift of the present and the lessons and treasures therein. Even more powerfully, when we do this we can’t be feeling anxious or depressed; it’s just not possible.

OK, that sounded way too deep and generalised for you didn’t it? But it really is that simple – research and experience in the field proves it.

Let’s break it down so you too can really consider how simply depression and anxiety (chronic or subtle/transient) work, and in doing so, start to avoid heading down those slippery slopes that can demotivate and take us ‘off track’.

anxiety cycleThink about the last time you felt anxious. I mean really go back in your mind and experience that… Got it? OK, what were you focusing on when you were feeling that anxiety? Something in the future, right? Specifically, you were worrying about what might come, what might be – some anticipated event and possible outcome. AND you were doubting if you’d be able to handle it ‘correctly’ or well. You made all sorts of images or played out all sorts of scenes in your mind of things going wrong – catastrophically or ‘realistically’ – but all imagined, because it hadn’t happened yet (and probably it never did when the time came too).  No wonder you started to feel demotivated and upset! The unconscious mind is a very powerful thing – it acts on the cues you give it and it can be very convincing.

Anxiety robs us of the joy of now, generally out of habit and/or with the ironic intention of this ‘awareness’ making us more successful by preparing us to act now. The problem is we get so tied up in the negative scenarios it can send us into a negative state or spin so that we are actually LESS able of taking action and our negative emotions can start to create a new problem that didn’t even exist before.

So remember – worry and anxiety are like paying interest on a mortgage you may never have. Where’s the sense in that?

When you feel anxious make a conscious effort to stop and ask yourself these powerful questions:


  1. “What is the worst that could happen?”   … Now half it.  Now half it again.  And again and again until the feeling/imagined scenario reduces and you begin to feel calmer and more in control.
  2. “What is the best that could happen?” Enjoy imagining that best case scenario too and see how that changes your energy level and thinking about your upcoming event.
  3. “What is this  ‘anxiety’ trying to tell me to do? What is the positive intention/action I can focus on NOW?”

Once you’ve separated the intent from the emotion you are free to let go of it and take action. Power, empowerment and results come from taking positive action and bring you back into the now.

The same is true of depression. Depression occurs when we start generalising negatively about the past so it starts to overwhelm and incapacitate us. By living fully in the ‘now’ in this moment we bring our focus back to what we have and can do, and that action can lift us out of our worry, confusion and negativity.

So remember: live in the now – that’s why its called the ‘present’ – it’s a gift we can give ourselves at any moment and when we do, all sorts of new possibilities become apparent.

Have a positive, powerful week, and stay tuned for part 3: How to fake it till you make it – creating a positive, powerful every-day mind-set.

6 Secrets to Staying Motivated Series – Secret 1: Challenge Your Perception

Have you ever stopped to really consider how you create your experience of your world? It’s exciting to do so, because when we fully understand how we create our experience, this awareness allows us to make better decisions: to implement better thinking and communication strategies and in doing so – to create a more positive, productive approach to generate new levels of success.

Simply put, we experience the world directly through our senses. That is we see, hear, smell, touch, and/or taste the experience and environment around us. That information is instantly fed through our unique filters which colour or shape the meaning we give it. Our unique filters include our values and cultural norms, our expectations, our past experiences and associated beliefs, and our personalities. The raw, sensory data is passed through these filters and from this we create a map of the situation which influences our feelings and thoughts, and elicits a response so we can navigate the experience.

2 - Our lives are made up of a million momentsThe challenge is that this happens instantaneously and unconsciously; and because it happens so quickly it feels like the way we ‘see’ or experience that situation IS that situation.  We forget that our map is nothing more than our best interpretation or map of the situation at the time, AND that others may be experiencing it quite differently. What we don’t know, until we stop to challenge our thinking, is whether our map is aiding us, or creating problems such as frustration, failure or conflict.

Using a flawed, incomplete or inappropriate map can lead us to black/white or right/wrong judgments which often result in conflict and can leave us and the others around us unhappy, demoralised and disenchanted. We tend to trust our perceptions/map of situations because our maps have worked for us in the past in situations which we have implicitly judged as similar; so we assume they apply again.

But consider this – while you may have used a measuring tape many, many times in your life to get an accurate measure, you wouldn’t look at a measuring tape through a magnifying glass because it would distort your perception of how big it is/seems. The magnifying glass – while a useful tool in some scenarios, is not always going to give us the same result. More focus on one area distorts our view so we need to check what maps/tools we use to ensure our success.

So – how do we avoid the pitfalls of automatic assumptions that can lead to despair, demoralisation and conflict? Simply by recognising that in any given situation it is your thinking or interpretation of it that is creating your experience. So, if that thinking is not working for you, here are two questions you can ask yourself to check if your map is aiding you in successfully navigating the situation:

  • How does this seem different if I personalise/depersonalise this?
  • In what way or context could this outcome/situation be a success?

We challenge our perception by asking powerful questions and when the insights we gain open up new paths and options. So next time you find yourself feeling demoralised by a situation or outcome, try the two questions above and notice what new ways of thinking and interpreting you discover and how that makes you feel.

Have a positive, productive week and stay tuned for part 2 of this series: how to embrace the power of living in the moment so the past doesn’t hold you back and the future doesn’t overshadow your journey right now.

Introducing The 6 Secrets to Staying Motivated Series

If you’ve ever said (to yourself or others) ‘if only I could stay motivated I could…’ then this series is for you.  It’s about leaving that ‘if only’ thinking behind by identifying clear, actionable steps you CAN take to achieve your goals and create the life you want to live. Further, this series will clarify what you’re doing right intuitively and give you further confidence in why; and just by reading each short blog you’re focusing your conscious and unconscious mind on creating new levels of success.

Remember: The difference between who you are now and who you ultimately want to be is finding the focus and path to get there.  A new Secret will be posted each week, so watch this space or sign up for our ‘free resources’ to receive notification of when of the 6 secrets has been posted!

Zig Ziglar motivation like bathing needs to be done daily