To truly embrace the freedom of living moment to moment it is important to have a stable foundation. Before building or creating anything, we know how vital the setting of a foundation is. With a strong foundation, anything can be built upon it.
Over the nearly 15 years of guiding, coaching, and mentoring in the corporate space and one individual at a time, we have always based anything we facilitate on our foundational tool. Simply and aptly called, The Foundation, it is so ingrained in our processing that we speak it and facilitate it on confident autopilot.
Let's backtrack for a moment and ask why anyone we support would need a solid foundation to build their lives. Throughout the years of guiding individuals, we can guarantee that no one gets a free pass to a stable foundation of self-worth and confidence. Everyone has a history that has impacted their self-esteem and, although everyone's fears are different, no one is without them.
One client sitting in a chairperson position, giving off the impression that they were truly confident, had this to say, “I know now that I can contribute to the conversation around the boardroom table and that yes, my opinion is different because I think differently and that is absolutely perfect. I don’t feel the need to over-explain or need to speak for the sake of speaking. I am not there because I tick a box. On the days when I am sad or don’t believe I belong I understand that Ego is trying to protect me and that is its job. Keep the course!”
For us, the foundation is a five-step process that will guide anyone to brave doing something different. We pride ourselves in always going first and therefore these steps were formulated from our own personal development and have been our foundation of change and transformation both personally and through the business.
Change is scary and can be daunting, with many people avoiding the process altogether, and we know why. It’s the missing steps that are not focused on that create the solid grounding for the bravery it takes to change.
Step One: Be conscious
If we do not have the capacity to remain in the present moment our ego will always take our mind either to the past or into the future.
The mind is divided into the conscious, rational and present mind or the unconscious, irrational and wondering mind. The only way to shift from the unconscious into consciousness is to grab hold of your thoughts and actions.
Focus is about becoming conscious that your energy is drawn to what you currently do and how you are being in the moment. We understand this is easier said than done so there is another supportive tool that we have created to assist you with this. Read about the steps of F.A.I.T.H (an acronym for Focus, Acceptance, Intention, Trust and Happiness) or within a personal transformation coaching session with Greg or Jodene, we will guide you through how to use these to remain in the present moment.
Being present is fundamental because we cannot be calm for the next step without our minds being in the moment. The reality of transformation and braving change is that unless you take control of your mind it will be impossible to brave the changes needed. Therefore, this first step is learning that we have the power and control over the irrational ego mind. We are able to pull it into the present moment, which is a practice to master.
Being conscious is fun and joyfully distracting for our minds. It is about doing something that is free of stress or forced mental stimulation. Being present by breathing, dancing, cooking, reading, and even playing a mindless game for a while. It’s the opposite of the way we shout at our minds to do something! Instead, what is your 'do nothing'?
Step Two: Tell yourself the truth
Understanding why we do what we do is something we don’t pay enough attention to. Mostly, we are reactive and not fully owning our choices and actions. Nothing aligns if we haven’t taken responsibility for the ‘why’ of what we want to change.
There are questions that need to be answered to hear ourselves speak the truth. This often works best when we have someone ask us the question, so we hear ourselves respond.
There are three critical questions that give us insight into our truth:
How have you become what you are?
How have you sabotaged yourself?
How do you hold yourself back?
Of course, transformation is not easy and therefore there is complexity in these questions. It takes pondering to get to the depth of truth. These are also not once-off questions, as this process is not linear. Your life has many facets and there may be clarity in one area but uncertainty in another, so using it for all parts of life and in every step of your evolution, should be never-ending.
Step Three: Make it about you
We have a part of our ego, the victim, who chooses to take no responsibility for the place we find ourselves in our life. The reality is that even if we did not have the initial power to choose, immediately after it is vital to know that the next choice is solely and powerfully up to us. For anything to change, we must take responsibility for every area of life from the moment we know we have the power to do so. It is usually in an instant that we feel disempowered but, immediately after making it about ourselves and accepting how life has unfolded, we have the power to say, where to from here?
We work closely with our clients as they learn to talk to their victim within the ego mind. Ego is deeply misunderstood as a part of us that is always there to cause havoc and keep us in a negative space. There is nothing further from the truth because our ego holds the memory of everything that has happened to us while learning to use our traits and forming our personalities. We spend the rest of our lives with the ego reminding us of the past and echoing into the future the fear that a pattern will be repeated. The ego is always coming from a deeply loving and protective space, however, we will never move forward if we do not take charge of our minds. This is done when we cease to feel like the victim and give ourselves the power to choose.
Step Four: Do something different
Breaking old patterns happens one small step at a time, through owning our power, courage, and confidence to make a different choice than what we are used to.
Not only do we have resistance from the mind, but we will also have pushback from the outside world. We are usually stuck in our patterns and do things so repeatedly that everyone around us is used to who we are. Unfortunately, this could be far from who we are worthy of being and, as we do something different, it is vital to have the courage to know that this may be met with resistance.
When braving doing something different we are often met with resistance because, despite this step being small, there is always the fear of the ego voice.
We know the time and bravery one needs with themselves to do something different. This step can take ages and needs a special kind of patience that keeps the ego calm, otherwise we keep ourselves in old, repeated patterns. As with Jodene’s coaching client, Paul. After months of working through The Foundation, with coaching sessions in between the steps, he would report back between sessions that he had not braved doing anything different. Our reminder has always been that it does not have to be a big step. The slightest choice to behave in a more conscious and assertive way does not have to be a giant leap.
For weeks on end, he would return to Step One and refocus in the way Paul knew worked for him. Then, telling himself the truth about why it was so complex during the week, he slowly understood the voice of the victim. With care, compassion, and kindness Jodene encouraged him to do something different in the upcoming week.
The best part about the choice to change is that sometimes we have no explanation for why or how the moment kicks in. As with Paul, not even on a coaching session day, Jodene received a message saying he had finally made the slightest change and it felt like he couldn’t stop the big decisions. “Thank you for instilling the faith in me and having the patience that I did not have in myself. You've played such a big part in these changes; you will never understand.”
Step Five: Live in integrity
By this point, a client will have braved enough to have seen the impact of working through the steps of The Foundation. It is important to stress that we get what we need and not what we think we want because all we want is ego-driven. Consciously living with the knowing that everything is as it should be and that we have the power to choose to do something different, it becomes about living each day doing what makes us happy and serves us best.
Living within integrity is something deeply personal and although there may be resistance from others, especially if they are used to the less confident esteem in which you behaved in the past, then your integrity may be questioned. This powerful step gives you the opportunity to ask yourself if you are happy. It is to truly sense the happiness within you. The ability to be happy is to stay within the present moment and know that the past does not have any impact on you and that the future is adventurously uncertain.
After completing The Foundation through the personal transformation coaching and going through a transformation process, a client ended their feedback form by saying, “The process has helped me to slow down and really take the time to know myself better. It has allowed me opportunities to reflect on different decisions and actions that I may have previously just pushed past. It helped me understand that everyone around me is on their own journey and that to be healthy and well, one needs to ensure that they are taking care of themselves by having a strong foundation."