"People say you can’t change your career at 35 because that’s when you’re meant to be settling down. You can’t change your career at 38, you should have it figured out by then! What you’re not married at 40, what are you doing with your life?"
Who comes up with this stuff I have no idea, but this stuff plagues so many people I speak to.
So many people open up to me and tell me “Richard, I just don’t know how to change - is it possible.”
What I’ve come to realise is that it absolutely is - because I’ve done it myself.
I had to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after I gave end of life care to my mother. I was lost in life and was terrified to move away from the career I had worked so hard to build - yet knew it wasn't fulfilling me anymore.
In this video I’m going to share with you 4 questions I continue to ask myself today to:
So you’ll be able to ask yourself the same questions to help you figure out what to do next. How does that sound?
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People say you can't change your career at 35 because that's when you're meant to be settling down. You can't change your career at 38, because you should have had it figured out by then. Or you're 40 and you're not married. What are you doing with your life? Who comes up with this stuff? I have no idea. Yet I speak to more and more people who are plagued by all of this. So many people open up to me and say, "Richard, I just don't know how to change. Is it possible?" What I've come to realize is it absolutely is because I've done it myself. I was labeled a failure at school. I scraped by at college. I went out to get a job. I worked in sports shops. I became a postman. Yet I couldn't get that feeling, that sick feeling, out of my stomach of feeling lost and of disappointment.
So I made the first decision for myself in my life and I went abroad. I worked in the French Alps for a few years. And for the longest time that feeling left me, until it came back again. I'm not successful enough. I haven't achieved enough. So I went back, I went to study, I did my degree at 26. I went to study my masters and then I got my dream job. I became a performance coach in Olympic sport. I made it. Until that feeling came back again. So I tried new relationships. I tried new jobs. I even moved to a different country, China. And don't get me wrong. I had an incredible time in my career.
I worked with some amazing people and some amazing experiences. But what really tuned me in was hitting rock bottom. I now live my life in love with my wife, Anna, with my daughter, Stella, and reaching more and more people around the world with the work that we do. Simply rock bottom taught me to ask the right questions, to become clear when I'm feeling lost. In this video, I'm going to share with you four questions that I continue to ask myself today to check in with myself, to help me break through self-doubt and to help me dust off criticism by others by keeping the bigger picture in mind.
So you'll be abale to ask yourself the same questions to help you figure out what to do next. If you're new to my channel, I'm Richard and I help impact driven professionals who are lost with self-doubt, become clear, effective and impactful. And our free master class on the four proven steps on how to become clear, effective and impactful in your life is still open. So if you want to join that master class, or if you want to apply for our freedom of being coaching program, make sure you stick around to the end of that master class because you'll have steps on how to do both.
So one of the first questions I go to when I'm feeling lost is what do I want versus who do I want to be? How much of what you do in your life right now is for other people, because you are afraid of what they'll think of you, you're afraid of what happens if you change. Maybe you're staying in a job you've got because people think it's steady and secure, yet there's a deep yearning within you to break free. Maybe you're choosing to stay in an unfulfilling relationship because you're too worried of hurting the other person. Yet what you're really doing is hurting both of you if you're staying in something that you know you shouldn't be in. When I think back to my time in pro sport, I was always comparing myself, always comparing myself to other people, to other coaches or thinking I'm not successful enough, I don't know enough. I need to keep learning.
And so I was in this perpetual state of anxiety that I wasn't even aware of, of trying to validate myself to other people rather than standing on who I truly was. Each job I went into, I was aiming to stand out. I was wanting to stand out because that's how I, within me, wanted to get validation. Yet, in every job I was in, I was unfulfilled because I was not satisfying that part of me and no job was ever going to until I reconnected with that part within myself. I only see that now because I look back in hindsight. And so the question, who do you want to be versus what do you want to be is an important one to ask. Who are you trying to be, for who? But what do you want, what do you really want in your life?
What are you craving? Maybe you have that deep sense of loss within your stomach, within your physical body, you are craving for something. Maybe you've got a hobby that you love to do, that you love to pursue, but you're staying in that secure and steady environment that you've created yourself because it's too fearful to step out, whether they're your own fears of being rejected or what other people think of you. And I think certainly from my example, I think it's easy to look around and see certain people in certain roles, really successful roles, and think, oh, you've got it all made. But what I've come to see and learn firsthand is that no matter how successful someone is in person, so many people have this self doubt within them that's wreaking havoc on what they truly want to do. So can you be honest with yourself?
Can you begin to write down what do you truly want? What is it that you'd love to do? And what's holding you back in the sense of why do you stay in the positions that you are? Change happens when we become too uncomfortable. The discomfort we are in becomes so great that we then want to move. But what if you could identify that? What if you could step in empowerment? In a future video, I'm going to discuss about how to become fearless, how to trust life. But the first step is to really uncover, what do you want? The second question I ask myself is how am I making sense? And this is all about our lived experience, my lived experience. And so looking at the interoceptive level, wonderful work by Lisa Feldman Barrett talks about interoception and how we are only really ever feeling four things, four areas of mood.
We're either feeling pleasant, unpleasant, calm, or aroused. Everything else is story put onto that. And so if we are feeling a state of unpleasant arousal, maybe we are feeling anxiety, we're feeling anxiety about something that's about to happen. And so our brain takes that information within our body and begins to make emotions up. It begins to build our story because our brain is a predictor machine. And so connecting with my interoceptive level is something that I've found highly powerful in my life. How am I feeling within my body? And so that shows up in a sense of, my daughter is doing everything a three year old is supposed to do, pushing boundaries, finding her place in the world. So if she spills a drink on the table, there's either two reactions I'm going to have. I can be completely accepting of it, because that's okay. It doesn't matter.
The actual incident is irrelevant. Or I'm going to be frustrated about it. And what I've come to realize is that what reaction shows up in my life is based on how I'm feeling within my body. Two areas that I look at within myself to improve that, to get a check on what's going on within my interoceptive level. The first one is breath. Breath and vitality. Am I getting enough sleep? Am I eating the right food? Am I exercising enough? Am I taking enough rest? Breath is about using my breath in the moment. One, to use it in the moment to calm my state, to manage my state. Not to be calm and relaxed all the time, but to be clear and focused, to be present. And then there's the mind. How can we use our mind to bring ourselves into our body? And do I simply being two things, I ask myself, am I affected by this or am I informed by this?
So informed means what is the accurate data that I have available to me to make an accurate decision? So maybe you're at work, maybe you're assuming something about someone based on a short email. What is the accurate data? What are the words said in that email? Because all the other story around that is your assumptions. So that's what I mean by is it actually informing with accurate data or what are your assumptions you're putting onto it? The second part to that question is, is it affecting me? So is it affecting my physiology? Am I getting a response? Is my heart rate elevating, is my blood pressure changing? Am I getting a visceral tightening in my body, which has leaved me more open to getting triggered, to reacting in a way rather than responding. So going back to my past, when I was feeling lost and disappointment, it was a physical feeling in my body.
Are you in tune with that in yourself? Can you sense that within your body? Are you aware of those physical changes that can happen? Are you aware of the influence that you can have on them? At the end of the day, we are biological animals and we are living this human experience. We have to manage our state. We have that as an option to manage in the moment. We can't manage other people, but we can manage our emotions and how we respond in situations. So much research out there to support that evidence of just by changing your breath, you can change how you are feeling in the moment. The next question I ask myself is what am I pretending not to know about this situation? Now, going back to the example I gave you of me working in Olympic sport. As much as I had such a great time, most often than not, I was unfulfilled.
I was not happy. I was not achieving what I thought I could do. And what I was pretending not to know was that they were my stories. I was putting my stories onto an environment. I was having great impact. I was having really good success with the people I worked with, but I was seeing it through a different lens. My area of success was being matched to other people. What I saw in other people, rather than seeing what was actually in front of me. Was I making a change? Yes, I was. Were people achieving success? Yes, they were. And so I was pretending not to know that I was actually already doing something of high value. Fast forward to that rock bottom. And really that rock bottom was me giving end of life care to my mother. And that showed me that all of my aspirations, all of my projections were pointless.
Nothing really mattered. Because the only thing that matters is connection, is how you show up to the people that are in front of you. So ask yourself that question. If you're feeling lost, if you're feeling lost in direction and self doubt, what are you pretending not to know? What are the points you are focusing on so rigidly that you are leaving a whole host of other areas that you are doing really well at, or you know that you want to do, but you're ignoring? Another thing that comes up when we are pretending not to know things, is that the step we need to take might be uncomfortable. But that's the step to freedom. Maintaining in that unfulfilling relationship, staying in that job that's driving you crazy, is a short term solution to something that you are projecting onto, steady and secure, you don't want to hurt the other person.
However, stepping through that discomfort is going to set you free and certainly in relationship is going to set that other person free. The final question I ask myself comes from my rock bottom moment. Am I remembering my mortality? I simply call that mortality motivation. And the experience of giving end of life care was such a profound experience for me. Of course, deeply painful yet so freeing and such a positive one. It was a positive one because it made me ask myself questions and made me realize that I'm going to die one day. How do I want to show up in my life? So all the fears, all the self-doubt, all the people pleasing that I was doing became pointless. Of course I don't like it when people don't like me, but I don't hold that back. I don't hold me back. This channel right now, this video you're watching, will get criticism.
People won't resonate with it. That's okay. It's important to share, it's important to step forward with what you believe in. Watching people die in my life has made me realize that we do end. This is a temporary thing. No matter how long we have, we don't know how long we have, but it is temporary. So for the time we do have, do we want to live limited? Do we want to live in a place where we are people pleasing, we are doing things for other people? Or do we want to live in a place of stepping into our full power? And that's what the question asking about, do I remember my mortality? Because it connects me back to that. If I'm feeling self-doubt, it connects me back to, is this worth pursuing? Do I want to do this? And most of the time it is. If it's not worth doing, then don't do it.
A book that has really helped me along this path is The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. And two paragraphs that stand out for me, man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level. If there's a tragic limitation in life, there is also possibility. What we call maturity is the ability to see the two in some kind of balance into which we can fit creatively. So if this video is resonating with you, ask yourself the question, what do you want? Who do you want to be? It's okay to feel lost. It's okay to not know what to do. It's really important. And at a time now, more than ever before, we've been asked to question everything within our life. Are we living a life that we want to live or are we living it for other people?
What is success? Who defines success for us? These four questions may seem very simple at first, but if you spend some time really going into them and being honest with them and asking yourself these questions, you'll glean some great wisdom from within yourself. If you haven't subscribed to this channel, please click the subscribe button and the bell that you'll be notified each and every week when I release new content on becoming clear and effective. I want to thank you for watching. And I want to point you in the direction of another video to help you become clear and help you to find out why you're feeling lost in the first place.
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