YOU EAGERLY SEEK CHANGE IN SOME AREA BUT STRUGGLE
You eagerly seek change in some area of your life, but struggle to ACTUALLY make that change happen. Whatever it is: losing weight, changing your career, being more confident, sorting out your head; it has been on your mind for a while. Wait, let’s rephrase that: IT’S BEEN ON YOUR MIND A REALLY LONG TIME!!
Occasionally you have kick-started your initial attempts full of enthusiasm, but after a while your motivation just goes out of the window and your energy levels wear off. So far you’ve given in and consequently given up. Looking back on these experiences, you might feel quite annoyed, guilty, down, or maybe even pretty frustrated about that. These feelings might this linger around at this very moment. And that’s OK. Because it shows that you care about these things. They matter to you.
YOU’RE NOT SUPERMAN, YOU KNOW.
I STRUGGLED WITH MAKING A CHANGE AS WELL
I’m not sure how long it’s taking you to make a change, but back in my twenties it took me almost two years to build up the confidence to follow through on what I wanted: another career. Freshly graduated from uni, I started as an energy policy consultant in Rotterdam. To any outsider it seemed like I made it. It seemed like a move that made sense. A secure income, an opportunity to work yourself up the ladder, a profession that could make a difference. But after a while, I realised it wasn’t for me.
Working behind a desk from 9 till 5, week in week out. Typing policy documents I sincerely believed nobody really read (and if someone did, surely it wasn’t followed up). I was writing about topics that at that time mattered to me, topics like climate change and the energy transition. But the truth was, I wasn’t making any difference. It all felt so abstract, hollow. A bit meaningless I guess. Unfortunately, that feeling only grew as time passed…
I decided something needed to change
So almost two years into the job, I decided to be brave and paid for an expensive 9-day NLP Practitioner training. That’s where – well let’s say – I had my epiphany and found the courage and confidence to chase that was on my mind for so long. One of the exercises we did during the retreat really helped with that: making a wooden inspiration board. No more than 15 by 15 inches. On one side, you wrote all the good stuff you wanted to have in your life. The other side was dedicated to all the things that needed to go out of your life. Sounds quite simple, doesn’t it? I spend a few moments at it over the next couple days and eventually I had my own visual inspiration board. A board that I could hold, almost like a compass telling me where to go. My trigger words were sun, sea, beach, adventure, action, focus, love, swim, cliffs, follow your guts, trust yourself, action, start a business, the outdoors, etc. You can see the original in one of the images, albeit it is in Dutch 🙂
Looking back on it, most of those words stemmed from a wonderful holiday experience in Wales only six months earlier. That inspiration board, as simple as it was however, gave me some clarity on what I wanted to focus on. It created some space from thoughts that usually stopped me in my tracks. Thoughts like ‘just be grateful for your career‘, ‘what would your parents think if you didn’t use your degree properly‘ or ‘Stop being so stupid, childish and selfish Nick‘. In one way the board committed me to submit an application letter to a local coasteering business in Pembrokeshire, Celtic Quest Coasteering. And yes, after a few funny email conversations with the business owner Cleo “I’m wondering accommodation and transport, etc. Netherlands to Pembrokeshire is a mammoth daily commute….”, I got lucky. I was given the opportunity to fly over for a job interview in the sea.
I decided to take on the gamble, booked a flight and traveled over for to West Wales for two days. Long story short, I got lucky and got the job and two weeks later my life was totally different. Instead of sitting behind a desk I was out in flip-flops on the beach in Abereiddi. Sure, the pay was a lot less but the main thing was that I was happy again about what I did on a day-to-day basis.Every day I felt more confident that I was doing the right thing and moving towards the stuff I cared about. Connecting with people, the outdoors, being active, and exploring new places.
The morale of the story?
Actions of confidence come first, feelings of confidence come later. Everybody’s story is different, but most of us have something going on in our head that we aren’t really willing to share yet. A thought that continues to linger in your mind. Maybe a picture of where you want to go, a person you aspire to become, or something exciting you just would like to try. Deep down, just like me, you know the change that’s on your mind might be worth pursuing as well. I didn’t know at the start that my move was a particular good one. It looked quite stupid at the start to be frank. After being an outdoor pursuit instructor I became a behavioural therapist. Day-by-day I was carrying out fun and positive interventions for individuals with learning and/or behaviour needs. It gave me a hands-on understanding in applied behaviour analysis, the foundation for any modern CBT intervention these days. I used this experience to move on as a qualified life coach and trained ACT therapist in West Wales.
As Steve Jobs said, you can’t connect to dots going forward. You can only connect them going backwards.
All I’m trying to say here is that although we can’t stop complaining, stop worrying, stop being fearful, stop having doubt in our hearts, this doesn’t mean you cannot make that initial leap. To let yourself be vulnerable and just follow that gut instinct and give it a go. Take an action, no matter how minuscule it is. Try and set a few new dots & keep moving forward towards it and see where it takes you. It’s better than doing nothing, isn’t it?
SO, WHAT CAN A LIFE COACH AND ACT THERAPIST DO FOR YOU?
Although you’re the expert of your life, sometimes you just need that little bit of help to deal with the challenges life throws at you. A gentle nudge in the right direction so that you can clearly see and figure out the exciting path that lies ahead of you.
To hear what a life coach and ACT therapist can actually help you with, it is best to get it from the horse’s mouth. Have a look at bullet points below or click on the Google Reviews some of Nick’s clients left.
Given me tools to become a better version of myself
Really helpful with my ADHD
Techniques to cope with difficult situations
Feel better about myself than I have in a very long time
Nick helped me with my anxiety and confidence issues
Don't burn out anymore
I have plenty of academic baggage to show you how to make behaviour change happen and last, but purposely try to remain down to earth and practical. You don’t want some academic talk full of jargon, you want simple tools and techniques you can practice yourself and take home immediately.
That said, professional development and understanding the theory behind behaviour change is very important to me. Therefore, over the recent years I have obtained the following qualifications and experience:
Eliot Baron - January 2021
"I've had 3 months of counselling with Nick, as a cancer patient & carer. I consider it great good fortune that our paths have crossed & even in lockdown, through Zoom, I can get the benefit of talking with Nick, and sharing in the exercises he can draw on. I really enjoy and appreciate being able to have him as a counsellor, in this most difficult of times. I have no hesitation in recommending him to you.''