Here is your free gift. I encourage you to follow these 10 steps, in order to help you be at your own best, feel great, and live your dream life, starting today!
STEP 1: BREATHE and GET PRESENT
When we are stressed, we do not even notice that we have shallow breathing. Let’s take 10 slow deep breaths right now: Close your mouth, and breathe in fresh air into your nose, as your belly rises. As you exhale, let your mouth open, jaw relax, belly fall, and sigh out an exhale, releasing any tension that is in there. Try this 3 times per day, for the next week.
Do you feel calmer? More energy? More alert?
STEP 2: GET THE EGO/MIND QUIET
Hopefully after you focus on your breathing, you feel calmer. Now, our next step is to help the mind calm down more too. Our ego/mind likes to struggle, worry, and create irrational fears. Let’s try this exercise: As you breathe in, say “1” to yourself, or see the number 1 (if you are visual). Then, as you exhale, say or see the number 2. Continue up to 10. If you notice other thoughts come into your brain, go back to number 1. It might be hard to get to number 10 – that is okay! Our goal is to become less attached to our thoughts, and have more ability to focus on command.
Once we have done the number exercise, we might have some “self-talk” going on that is not so encouraging, like “gosh, I can only get to 2 before my mind starts talking”, or “I was thinking about what I was going to have for dinner”, etc. We are very good about “beating ourselves up”. It is time to change this habit. Today, or even in the above exercise, when you notice yourself doing this, STOP. Then, smile, and tell yourself/write down one or two things that you can reframe in your mind, and feel good about this. It can be as simple as: I took out the trash this morning. I made my bed. I didn’t want to do x, but did it anyway, and feel better because of it. I could only see the “bad” in the situation, but then I started looking for the “good” in it. I was stuck in a conflict, but I summoned the courage to have that conversation with that person. I was willing to try that exercise again, and I was less attached to the number I was on, as I became present in the task.
STEP 4: YOU ARE OKAY JUST AS YOU ARE – APPRECIATE YOU!
No matter how far you got on STEP 2, it is all okay! There is no magic number, answer, or award….it is about starting to be aware that our mind does not rule us…instead we can experience each moment, and appreciate wherever we are at, right now. It is easy to think we are not good enough…let’s change this!
With this in mind, let’s take the next step: Write down 3 things that you appreciate about you – such as: I love saying “I love you” to myself in the mirror when I wake up – it makes me feel happy; I feel a bubbly energy all of the way through my body when I do this. It can be: I love that I have committed to taking care of my health by eating at least one piece of fruit per day, or getting a check up. I loved feeling empowered, when….; Give yourself an appreciation day….buy yourself flowers, and enjoy them, or take a bath, make a nice meal, take a time out if you need it. What is something that you can do for you, today?
STEP 5: CHOICES AND CREATING POSITIVE CHANGES
It is easy to get comfortable “beating ourselves” up and recreating the same patterns over and over for ourselves. How can we change these habits, or recurring actions, in our lives? I.e. maybe I keep choosing a friend/mate who doesn’t listen, since I believe I am not worthy of being heard, or not used to being heard. Maybe I feel like I get stuck with everyone else’s job plus mine, since I do not speak up for myself.
Whatever our issues are, we all get to choose how we live our life, and we can change it at any time. We all deserve the best life possible; all we have to do is decide. We get to decide that we are worthy, and that we deserve to feel good (even if we are not used to it …yet).
Today, pay attention to patterns that have shown up in your life, such as choosing someone to date that is not good for you, or friends that you can not trust, or not following through on tasks. Whatever it is, decide to change it – “I allow myself to feel good creating change; I allow myself to attract people who respect me. I start to respect myself, and give myself credit for what I am doing well”, I choose to start taking care of my physical well-being”, etc.
STEP 6: HOW TO CLAIM YOUR POWER AND SHED THAT ARMOR
It is easy to get caught up in wanting other people’s approval. Allow yourself to give YOURSELF all of the approval you want for today! When we look at babies, they are fresh, and look at the world with big eyes, seeing everything as if for the first time. We do not get upset when they cannot walk right away, or have to get yet another diaper changed…..we need to be more gentle and loving on ourselves too. We get to feel our own power or reclaim it!
To start feeling our power, it is important to shed the extra layers of protection that we carry around. Look at your life: do you have certain roles that you play in your life that you are VERY attached to? What would happen if you were not that “role, title, etc.” Do you have feelings that you hide from almost everyone – maybe even yourself?
Take time to write down/explore what you hold onto within yourself? What can you let go of right now? i.e. maybe I am stressed since I am in a big job, like the money coming in, but am not happy doing what I am doing, but I am afraid of not being that title or having that money. Maybe I am overweight and know I hide my feelings…..start journaling about what bothers you and then let it go – throw the paper out, and exhale knowing you can let those thoughts or emotions out of you, too!
Write about what makes you feel great – it can be a time from your childhood that you have forgotten about….like just being out in the sunshine playing at a park with a friend.
STEP 7: YOU ARE NOT ALONE – CONNECT WITH YOURSELF AND OTHERS
When we get down on ourselves about what is not working in our lives, or if we seem to be doing well, but don’t feel satisfied, we often think that nobody will understand us. Believe it or not, more people have experienced what we are going through but we just might not know this! Most of us pretend that we are fine, and wear a mask on so people do not see the “real” us…it is easy to fear that people might not like us, if we share all of ourselves to another person…..yet, ironically, when we do open up, others tend to like us even more and love us for all of ourselves – and they might even tell us how they have a similar experience!
Who can you reach out to today, to ask for help, or help them in feeling good?
STEP 8: DREAM, TAKE ACTION, AND BE YOUR BEST
Take 2 minutes to do this exercise: get a piece of paper, and a pen/pencil. If you had no fears, and you could be, do, and have anything you wanted in this world, what would it be? Keep your pen on the paper the whole time….let the subconscious do the writing…..do not think too much….by doing so, some surprising details might come out of you! Then, try this again tomorrow – now that you got started, it will get easier and easier to dream big! Do not worry if you are not 100% sure on what you “want” or would like to do with your time….as you keep doing this, more answers will come – trust yourself!
Once you have big dreams down on paper, pick 1 or 2 to focus on for now, and create action steps to make these dreams a reality. For me, I wanted to go to the Olympics, from an early age. If that is your dream, you might want to note when you need to be at certain stages to get there by a certain year. If you do not know how to reach a goal, seek out a mentor, find out the answers, etc.
Now, it is great to have certain items, or accomplish certain goals, but in the end, having or doing certain things is NOT what brings happiness. Yes, they might provide certain changes in your life, or allow new opportunities to occur, but we must love what we are doing, being who we are…..we are most happy when we honor our OWN dreams, not someone else’s.
STEP 9: FEEL GREAT AND BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE IN THE PROCESS
Right now, look up at the sky, ceiling, or wherever you are, and SMILE! Just because you can…..now that you are doing so, how do you feel? Yes, you might think Katrina is crazy for all of these goofy exercises, or you might start thinking, “Hey, I feel better”! Either way, you have just changed your emotional state, as well as your physiology. From here, you are in a better place to continue attracting positive energy, and making your dreams a reality.
STEP 10: TRANSCEND YOUR LIMITATIONS, REALIZE YOUR STRENGTHS
AND LIVE YOUR DREAM LIFE
How we can be at our optimum in sports, career, family, and/or life? Yes, it is great to see what is possible for ourselves when we pursue a goal or dream of ours….the key is to also appreciate ALL of the steps along the way. In your area of interest, when you look at yourself, an idol, mentor, etc., what do you consider your/their main strengths? How can you enhance them even more? Where are some areas that you get stuck? How can you change this? Be specific – this will help you!
Dare to LIVE YOUR DREAM LIFE – even if you feel overweight, or not in the right job, or in the perfect relationship, or have something that is bothering you – remember, you can start with looking at how resilient you have been to overcome obstacles in your own life, and you are much stronger than you might give yourself credit for! Enjoy the journey of allowing what you want to show up, WHILE loving each day for what it brings you!
Katrina Radke Gerry and Ross Gerry
Olympic Swimmer and Olympic Coach
Katrina, Bestselling Author, Be Your Best Without the Stress,