One of my favourite books is called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy. The concept of the book is to be very, very clear on what you want to do or what you want your life to be like. Once you are clear, you are then supposed to write out in incredible detail who you have to become to deserve a life like that. Now most people will think that when Darren Hardy wrote this book, he was focused on a business plan – but in fact he was looking for his dream wife!
Darren thought he was doing all the right things: going to bars, events, etc. but nothing was working! So he decided to do something dramatically different. He wrote down exactly what he was looking for in a woman. He wrote 40 pages worth of description of his dream wife.
But his project didn’t stop there. Now that he had spent 40 pages writing about his dream wife, he now needed to write about what kind of man he would need to become in order to marry the wife of his dreams. So he wrote another 40 pages on just that! And because he was so clear on what it is that he was looking for, his brain started to look for patterns that match that description.
If you’re not in a life right now that you love and you want it to change, I want you to try my exercise called My Best Year. In this exercise I want you to imagine what would happen if everything went perfectly for the next 12 months. Get really detailed in your description of that life. Then, I want you to write down what you as an individual need to do in order to get that life. And once you have that all figured out, I recommend you do two things.
The first thing I want you to do is tape the description of your best year to your computer. This way, you can look at that every single day. The second thing I want you to do is take the description of who you need to become in order to achieve your goals and tape that to your bathroom mirror. Every day as you’re brushing your teeth, or getting ready for bed, you are reminded of what you need to do to achieve your goals.
Believing in yourself is not easy, I really appreciate that. Believing in yourself doesn’t start in beliefs, it starts in thoughts. If you’re stuck because you regularly think of yourself in a negative way, it can be very hard to turn the crank to go the other way. My son has anxiety and there are times when his brain is just looping constantly in these thoughts. But what I am telling you is what I tell him, and it really does help.
Instead of his best year, I had him write out what is the calmest version of himself. When you read something, you force your brain to stop the looping and it starts to calm down and it starts to think in a different way. If you find yourself looping with negative thoughts a lot, do the My Best Self and then do the My Best Year and put both of those write-ups somewhere where you can see them every single day.
There may be doubtful people out there regarding this process. To you, I ask, what have you got to lose if what you are currently doing is not helping? If you want to be happier, if you want to have more from your business, if you want to have better relationships, if you want to be a better parent, then you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing Your Best Self and Your Best Year.
The process will be hard. You will feel anxiety and that’s okay. When you feel stressed, low, anxious–get out that best version of yourself and read it and reread it and reread it. And by the time you’ve read that, maybe four or five times, that crest of anxiety starts to come down. The beauty of this exercise is that the next time you have a panic attack, it will not be as intense as your last one–which is rare for anyone who suffers from anxiety. It’s actually less. This is because next time you will know what you can rely on and focus on. Read your Your Best Self, Your Best Year, until you are able to bring your stress to a manageable feeling. This is something I’ve been able to do with my son who has acute anxiety disorder, and if a 13 year old boy can figure out how to use this tool and successfully pull himself out of massive, life-altering and debilitating panic attacks, I know you can as well. Please let me know how it goes. I use it all the time and it’s absolutely fantastic.