When was the last time you reminded yourself of who you really are?
When was the last time you acknowledged your strengths, your achievements, and recognised the challenges and obstacles in life you’ve already overcome?
“You have already done a number of things in this life that make you a complete badass,” said Spencer McKinney, a personal trainer and life coach.
Know who you really are.
Spencer described how, when he asks coaching clients about their aims, they often list things they have in fact already achieved. Exploration starts within, said Spencer. You need to have a conversation about who a person really is before their journey begins.
“Understanding and appreciating who you are is the first step in what you want to do next,” he said. “Understand you cannot do everything, and that is ok. We all have 24 hours in a day. Be kind to yourself, knowing you are enough.
“Allow yourself to be who you are rather than what you think you should be.”
This year has been a challenge for many because the isolation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a loss of confidence. We are not having the opportunity to talk about our successes if we aren’t going to the office or generally seeing many other people, said Spencer.
Everyone has bad days and difficult times in their lives. The key to helping ourselves through those tough periods lies in recognising the situation and ‘owning it’, said Spencer, asking yourself what you can do about it. Strength comes from overcoming struggles, many of which we have all already faced and dealt with.
“Talk to yourself the way you would give someone else advice,” said Spencer, who was born in the USA. “My British friends give great advice, but they often don’t listen to their own advice themselves.”
Energy and passion.
He described how in the USA children generally take part in sports from around the age of five, being guided by a coach who will encourage them to keep going and keep striving, and letting them know that, with hard work, they will achieve what they want to.
This is all part of a culture which constantly asks how something can be done, said Spencer.
“In America if you say, ‘I want to do X, Y or Z’ the response will be, ‘Ok, how do you get it done?’” he said.
There is nothing wrong with bringing energy and passion to a situation, said Spencer.
As a starting point to learning to acknowledge our strengths and achievements, Spencer suggests ‘channelling your inner American’ with this exercise - look into a mirror, say who you are and list the things that ‘make you a badass’.
“It is completely ok to take a moment to list the things that you have done,” he said.
• To hear more inspirational speakers like Spencer, join The Social Medicine free on Sunday at 6pm.