It is Boxing Day, 1996, and I am standing on a bridge at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. One hundred and eleven meters beneath me churns the Zambezi River. Adrenaline is pumping through my body. I have a harness around my waist and at my ankles. I can almost taste my fear as I prepare to throw myself off the bridge and into the unknown.
How on earth did I get to be here?
The short answer is that I was an investment banker, and I wasn’t very happy. This holiday was my well-earned break from years of late nights, weird time zones, and a high-octane existence.
But for me, a far more interesting question is: What happened next?
What I didn’t know was that this literal jump into the unknown would flick a switch inside me.
A few months later I quit my job, began writing my first novel, and started training as a life coach and psychotherapist, which led to a thriving practice in London, a phone-in radio show, and a TEDx talk which has been seen now by nearly 3 million people.
The me standing on Victoria Falls Bridge would scarcely believe such change, such growth, was possible. But I am here to tell you it is. And you don’t have to throw yourself toward the Zambezi to do it.
But you do have to do something different, and try and do something new every day—even if it means a new angle on an old belief. This allows changes in the brain to take place, which leads to growth.
Part of my own personal growth work led me to Mike Dooley’s Notes from the Universe. And, like the bungee jump, these daily messages have changed the way I view the world. I incorporate them into my work with clients precisely because they provide the perfect jumping off point (pardon the pun!) to rewrite the script of our life every single day.
This is because when we are stressed, anxious or disappointed about our life, we long for clarity and guidance. Some of us feel we must have taken a wrong turn or feel trapped by the past. Or we feel we are scrabbling around in the dark. Sometimes we worry we are the dark, with all the shame, fear, and worthlessness that brings.
But mindset is everything. In my work with clients I see how they are just itching to rewrite the script of their life. From my observations of working with people all over the world, no matter what they have gone through or what heartache they are trying to recover from, I see that sustainable change rests on two simple pillars:
The first is unconditional love, where we develop a non-judgmental attitude towards ourselves. To truly lean into the knowledge that we are amazing, unique, and inspiring. Reminding ourselves of this, through things like affirmations (and yes, Mike’s Notes from the Universe) enhances self-belief and gives us the confidence to make healthier life choices.
The second is taking risks—trusting in the knowledge that everything is unfolding according to the Universe’s loving plan. There is a lot of evidence to show that a willingness to put yourself out there by, for example, creating vision boards, revamping CVs, overhauling your dating profile, or saying yes to more dates, maximizes your chances of living the life you want.
In many ways I still have to pinch myself that I can say this honestly to you—but you can change your life radically for the better. And if this blog post has motivated you to do something different today, please know that I am cheering you on. If I believe you can do it, you can too.