Book Review

The Slight Edge: An Introduction and a Concept Worth Considering

October 19, 2016

I just started reading a new book called The Slight Edge and wanted to share my very first takeaway with all of you about how the little habits in our lives are what make us successful. Because you know I'm all about changing our small habits to make a big change in our lives!

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In the introduction to The Slight Edge, the author, Jeff Olson, says that when we’re close to or at the point of failure, we do daily little actions to bring us back to a level of average, or survival mode, which is where we feel comfortable.

But the problem is that we then STOP doing these actions, leading us slowly back down towards failure, only to recognize what's happening and start back up with our positive habits again until we get back to average. Can you see how this becomes a cycle of oscillating between the levels of comfortable and falling apart?

BUT if we KEEP UP those daily little actions even when we’re feeling comfortable and average, we can get up to  the level of success...

... and if we KEEP DOING THEM at the level of success, then we can actually STAY there. Jeff Olson says that everyone is an average person, but we don’t have to live an average life. We get to choose to become successful by simply working hard and doing these simple little actions every day and doing them with a positive philosophy, which then trickles down into our attitude, our actions, and the rest of our life.

This concept translates so well into exercise.

Often, we find the right way to start losing weight and once we’ve lost a few lbs we think, oh great! And those little habits start to slip. We skip a few workouts, we have a few days where we skimp on the veggies, and sooner or later we find ourselves back where we started. BUT if we had just kept up those positive habits like getting enough sleep, eating lots of vegetables every day, exercising 5-6 times a week, etc., then we can reach a level where we feel AMAZING rather than just average or comfortable.

Again, this idea applies to any goal in our lives, not just exercise. Whether you want to succeed in school, in your job, make a difference in your church, create a great homeschool for your children, remodel your house, save money, etc. You CAN be really successful, you just have to keep up the habits that get you there past the level of being comfortable.

But why don’t we do that?

I believe we all have a level of fear of success within us and I've definitely recognized it within myself. Many of us have this deep down fear of what will happen if we do succeed? Then what? What if we can’t live up to everyone’s expectations or keep it up? It’s so much easier to stay in a realm where we KNOW we can handle the circumstances and we feel comfortable. But is that where you want to live all aspects of your life? Or do you want to give success a try? I know I do!

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Just reading the introduction of The Slight Edge has created so many revelations for me in various areas of my life. It inspired me to sit down and really think about where I’m stopping and letting myself be average, and what habits I can work on to improve in the future and head towards success. Some of mine include:

  • Connect with a new person every day.

  • Workout/move six times per week.

  • Eat 5 servings of vegetables every day.

  • Do visualization and meditation every morning.

  • Center myself and prepare well before every call with a client.

  • Get outside every day.

  • Apply to a new job every day

  • Read my bible every day.

  • Write down things I’m grateful for every evening.

The key for me is to KEEP doing these things after they start working, rather than think I'm good now and stop doing them every day. Hopefully, this book will have some tools to help me do just that!

What I'm Learning About Visualization, Affirmations, and Meditation

October 14, 2016

I realize I haven't been blogging as much lately and especially not much about the real things that are going on in my life. I started this blog as a way to really connect with women and let them know they aren't alone in their struggles, so more of that will be coming your way in the future!

I feel like I've been spreading my creative energy thin with working on my coaching business, trying to write more thoughtful Instagram posts, newsletters, and making live videos on Facebook. But this blog is important to me and such a great creative outlet that it's time to put a little more time into it!

Today we're going to talk about some things that are very new to my life, but that I've been finding to be helpful with my mindset:

Visualization, Affirmations, and Meditations.

My journey in this realm actually started with meditations. I've been dealing with worse than usual anxiety over the past few months and I decided to give meditation a tray as a way to just calm down and breathe. I downloaded a few apps, my favorites so far being Headspace and Calm, and started meditating when I was feeling overly anxious and needed to calm down. I also found it to be a great way to help me clear my head and fall asleep at night.

What I love about these guided meditations is that it helps you to ground yourself in your physical body (they tell you to feel your feet against the ground and the weight of your body in your chair) and then to focus on your breathing and start counting breaths. But my favorite part is that you're allowed to have thoughts, but you let them come and then you let them move on. I like to imagine I'm floating on a cloud and all my thoughts are like clouds that pass me in the sky and keep on moving so I can go back to focusing on myself and my breathing. I would never have been able to just "meditate" by sitting down and being silent on my own, so I highly recommend starting out with some of these guided meditations to teach you how to do it.

Remember, you are a beginner at anything new and you should expect to be great at meditating the first time you try.

A couple of weeks ago, my coach, Anna, suggested that I get the book Creative Visualization, after I had read a chapter in You Are A Badass about visualization that I absolutely loved.

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This book has reintroduced the ideas of visualization and affirmation into my life and I'm really enjoying seeing them with a whole new perspective.

Visualization is now one of my favorite things to do in the morning.

Why? Because what I visualize is the life that I want most for myself, and it's pretty fun to imagine I'm living that life. It makes me excited for the future because I know I'm capable of creating a world around myself that I love.

I do love many aspects of my life NOW and I think gratitude is SO important as a daily ritual, but we're allowed to dream for more, right? That's what my visualization is for - something to work towards.

My visualization for my life includes my future job and business, what my home looks and feels like, what kind of people I've surrounded myself with, and how I feel on a daily basis.

Another thing I've been doing along with visualization is saying affirmations. And let me tell you...

I used to think affirmations were silly.

But that's mostly because I felt silly doing them, so I chose to write them off. An affirmation is a present-tense, positive statement that you make about yourself and your life. Usually, it's helpful to say them out loud, but you can also think them in your mind throughout the day. This is where the feeling silly part comes in. When you're saying a statement that you may not 100% believe, you feel uncomfortable. Our best affirmations come from the places where our inner-critic is hardest on us, so if you feel uncomfortable saying the affirmation, then you probably need it the most.

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Here are a few examples:

I am loveable.

I deserve to be prosperous and happy.

This is an abundant universe and there is plenty for all of us.

I deserve the best in life.

I am willing to be happy and successful.

Creative ideas and inspiration are coming to me every day.

I am deeply relaxed and centered.

God is doing his perfect work in this situation now for the good of all concerned.

God is guiding me now.

I am confident in my job and my workplace.

I love and accept myself just the way I am.

Get the idea? Did reading any of those make you really uncomfortable or think, nope, not me? Guess what? You CAN believe each and every one of these things about your life, but I've learned that it takes a lot of practice, affirming, and changing our thoughts to more positive ones. This idea of changing your life through affirmation and visualization is called manifestation. Yes, I know it sounds a little "wooo-wooo," as I like to call it, but I'm starting to see what people are talking about and why so many people believe in manifestation.

And no, manifestation doesn't mean that I'm just sitting around imagining my life and hoping it comes to fruition.

It means that I give myself a positive mindset and know exactly what I want each morning, and then I go after it and work hard for it. Haha so don't worry, I haven't gone off the deep end! All of these things are positive, helpful tools that I'm adding into my life, along with the consistent, hard work that I know it takes to get me to where I want to be. I figure it can't hurt, right?

I'm really enjoying giving all of these techniques a try.

If you want to see me chat about this topic in person, here's a live video I did on my Facebook Page about the book and how I'm enjoying affirmations and visualization: