LIFE EITHER HAPPENS TO YOU OR FOR YOU: YOU CREATE YOUR REALITY
LIFE EITHER HAPPENS TO YOU OR FOR YOU: YOU CREATE YOUR REALITY
When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.
– Wayne Dyer
Even in the most challenging of times we have a choice. We can choose what to do and we can choose how to feel. 2020 and 2021 took away some of those choices, or seemed to. And as a result, changed all our lives. But our lives do not have to be dictated by our circumstances. Even in the midst of life challenges – when it may seem like we have no choice – we always do!
Take a moment to ask yourself right now: What would a great life look like, regardless of the circumstances?
Are you taking action to change the world around you, or merely reacting to what happens? Are you being a ‘victim’ of your circum- stance or creating your reality?
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More often than not, this is a question of how you choose to see things. A constant for all of us is that life happens; things go wrong, things go right. And how you choose to react – and act – when life happens, is the difference between success and failure.
With the Pandemic, remembering that you have a choice is something that we may have all needed a reminder of. Certainly, there have been ‘mandates’ as to what is or isn’t acceptable and also a lot of grey areas. We all know that people have railed against being told what to do and many who have complied and complained and many who have adjusted and carried on. This is the ‘reaction’ that we get to choose.
Just ask David Roylance, our co-founder at HCB Speak to Shine and HCB’s Head of Strategy. He is a classically trained actor, who when at drama school rubbed shoulders (and in some cases shared a flat) with Ewan McGregor, Joseph Fiennes and Damian Lewis. They are all huge Hollywood stars who ‘made it’ – but David didn’t (not as an actor, anyway).
He struggled with this for a long time. In fact, it really got him down and affected the way he felt, acted and reacted to the world around him. He thought: ‘Why them? Why not me?’
The turning point for David came when he discovered personal devel- opment. Having attended an event hosted by American author Darren Hardy, he then read his book, The Compound Effect. This led him to watch presentations by Tony Robbins and Andy Harrington. Through hearing their experiences, he got on board with the concept of looking at things differently. He realised that he had ‘made it’ he was just judging himself by the wrong criteria. It was then that he found us at
Life either happens to you or for you: you create your reaLity 3
HCB, and we are very much about looking at the world in a positive way – or rather, looking in a way that will move you forward. You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.
He realised that the way he was looking at events over which he had no control was what was making him miserable – not the events themselves. And the way you choose to look at things is something that you have absolute control over.
By changing his mindset, David was able to change the way he looked at the world. Now, as an incredibly successful entrepreneur, who we count ourselves lucky to have as part of our business, his mindset has done a complete 180°. He now thinks: ‘Who can I help today? What have I learnt from this? – and what can I teach other people as a result of having learnt that?’
This constant questioning to force a change in perspective regardless of what is going on, is exactly how he’s managed to achieve so much. He changed the way he looked at the world around him, and the world around him changed.
How do you look at the world around you? Do you feel that life’s been hard on you? That others have been dealt better cards? How could you look at this in a different way?
Sometimes even when you are looking at the world differently it can all get too much. Have you ever been close to ‘burn-out’? And by that we mean reaching a point where you felt you couldn’t carry on. Because if you have ... you did manage to carry on, because you’re still
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here. In order to get out of that state of mind, not only did you have to see things differently but you also had to do something differently. So, you already have that ability. You just have to remember it, channel it and believe that you can.
If you have ever felt burnt out, then you’re certainly not alone. Anna Goodwin, our Managing Director, had a change in mindset brought about as a direct result of the pandemic. In fact, the pandemic changed her mindset for the worse, before she realised what was happening and managed to change it for the better.
In March 2020, as coronavirus reared its ugly head in earnest, Anna had more than 200 mentees to support – all worried for their health, their businesses and the unknown. What was going to happen next? They didn’t know and neither did Anna. But as Managing Director of the company, she felt a huge responsibility to help each and every one of them personally, over 200 of them.
This would have been a huge burden to carry in anyone’s books (which Anna felt it was her duty to carry), but add to that the fact she was also homeschooling her two children, who were themselves unsure about what was happening and what might happen next. Again, Anna could have asked for help with this, but felt she didn’t need to. She was superwoman!
Except, as much as we love her, she wasn’t. This was all too much for one person to carry. And she didn’t need to be carrying it alone. She didn’t want to let go of the control though – not at home and not at work.
Life either happens to you or for you: you create your reaLity 5
But as so often happens (and this in itself is a great lesson to learn), there needed to be a bit of a breakdown, in order for there to be a breakthrough. Whilst none of us like this experience, it also just makes sense: in order to re-create something in a different way, you must break it apart first. Anytime a breakdown happens in our lives or business, it is actually a perfect opportunity to make changes and create a different reality going forward. Life either happens to you, or it happens for you: your choice will determine your experience!
The day Anna asked for help, was the day Anna got help – from the HCB Team, from her family and from her friends. Her fear of letting go of control was holding her back. The moment she let go of some of that control, she learned (or perhaps remembered) the value of teamwork – at home and at HCB. She didn’t need to do everything alone, and neither do you.
And I (Karene) am guilty of this myself. I used to be massively inde- pendent. In fact, it was a lot more extreme than that – I needed to be in control of everything, it was my way of protecting myself from hurt. But that wasn’t making me happy. Because you can never be in control of everything and attempting to means that you don’t let anyone in so your relationships suffer not to mention the stress and overwhelm. None of us is an island and we all work better together.
Many of us are resistant to letting go or sharing because it hasn’t always worked in the past. That however is not a guarantee of the future. You can and should ask for help or at the very least let people know what is going on for you. If they can’t support you directly they may allow you to look at things differently. I have found that explaining something to others can sometimes provide that ‘different way of
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looking at things’ that then allows you to realise that you aren’t alone and that there is always another way.
And looking at this another way, if you never share what is going on for you, you’ll never give the gift of allowing someone else to help and we all know how good that feels so if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for someone else.
Being independent and in control of everything is considered a strength – especially in the corporate world – but it’s actually a weakness. Inde- pendence, may perpetuate a feeling of control but it also keeps things small. Businesses don’t grow when leaders don’t share the load. We could never have supported the mentees that we have or changed as many lives if Chris and I (Karene) just kept doing everything ourselves.
Think of a successful person. They could be a public figure or someone that you know personally. All successful people have had help to get to where they are now. And that doesn’t make their success any less deserved – it just made it easier to obtain. Why wouldn’t you want to make things easier for yourself? You won’t be any more successful if you struggle and do everything by yourself. In fact, you’re far more likely to fail if you go about things like that. Why increase your chance of failure?
You will get to where you want to get to a lot quicker if you recognise that there is strength in asking for help.
Where in your life are you holding on too tightly? Where could you ask for help?
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Go back and look at things you consider to be your past failures. Think of them instead as learnings – how does that change your perception of that event? How could you have reacted differently? What actions could you have taken that might have made those experiences less painful or even turned them into an opportunity? What if everything that happened to you was exactly what you needed to be successful? You had to go through it all in order to become who you need to be. Notice what you could have done differently. Then decide, right here and now, how you might choose to react differently if something similar happened again.
And on the other hand, what in your life do you need to let go of? Where in your life are you worrying about what everybody thinks and letting a fear of judgement hold you back? What would you do today if you didn’t have that fear? Where in your life are you not letting go of control? Who could you ask to help you, that might mean you could have more time, and could achieve more? What’s stopping you from asking them?
Think again of that successful person we asked you to think of just now. What is it that makes you think they’re successful? What do they have what you want? What qualities do you admire in them? You can have what they have, in both instances, you just need to decide what exactly it is that you want. Be clear, think in detail about what you want. Write down all your thoughts on this because the act of writing things down, starts the process of making it happen.