Updated: Oct 14, 2021
You know that feeling; “My life is lacking something?"
I felt this way a few years back. My ethical retail business was going OK, I could have time off whenever I wanted to, had a nice little apartment I’d bought with the proceeds from selling my first business, but I just felt a bit…flat.
I had some sort of morning routine, I wrote a gratitude journal, really my life wasn’t lacking anything. But it wasn’t amazing either.
I heard a friend was attending a Tony Robbins seminar on crew and asked her if I could join. She said I’d need to attend the event first. I looked into buying a ticket. There’s no way I could afford it. I had credit card debts and was up to my overdraft limit. I did some research and eventually borrowed the money, hoping I’d made the right decision.
I hated the event to begin with. I’d had a really bad accommodation booking the previous night, I was sleep deprived, and I couldn’t find my ticket on my phone when I arrived. A staff member managing the queue asked if I was OK. I burst into tears, uncontrollable sobs. I felt so embarrassed and so out of my comfort zone.
Once inside the stadium, I initially felt very resistant to all the jumping up and down. I listened to Tony telling us to “play full out”. His enthusiasm was infectious to the point where I eventually started smiling even though I’d only had a couple of hours sleep and was fully committed to being miserable.
At some point during that day I decided to get involved, to join in and to give it a go. In spite of myself, I started to have fun. We were encouraged to write down our most audacious goals. I still have the workbook from that training and there they are in black and white; To become a writer (just because I love writing) to buy a house big enough to entertain friends and family and to start working professionally as a coach.
That night I took part in the fire walk and I guess that was the turning point for me. From then on I was fully present, hardly stepping outside for a break for the next 3 days of training.
The following year, 2018, I joined as one of the Fire Team crew with 100 other volunteers, working hard and witnessing 12,000 participants walking the fire after taking that first step. It was a powerful experience.
So how am I doing 3 years on?
I co-authored a best selling personal development book just before Christmas, I’m waiting for the final edit of my first book to come back from the publisher and have been working with the local book festival team on the launch, I have recently moved into my dream home and as well as working one-to-one as a coach, I have written and delivered my first 6 week online coaching course.
How did I do this? Did I just manifest it? Am I a lucky person? Did it just happen? Well no and yes.
I began with knowing my outcomes, and being clear about my ‘why’; Why I wanted to achieve these things. I set about changing my daily habits. If we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, we are also the average of how we spend our free time.
I signed up for a 3 month one-to-one coaching programme. I started getting up earlier, writing down three daily high-priority tasks so that low-priority tasks didn’t take over. I made sure that I did those three things daily. No matter what. They were things that scared me, made me feel vulnerable, put me outside of my comfort zone. I continued to write a daily gratitude list. I spent time in meditation first thing in the morning.
I let go of some of my limiting beliefs around money and success. I slowly began to believe in myself, and when I didn’t believe in myself I kept going anyway.
I attended courses addressing other areas of my life which were holding me back, I made notes. I made changes. As I’ve heard said by so many mentors, the harder I worked, the luckier I seemed to get.
I started using my social media differently. I followed people who inspire and educate, I interacted with their posts, I unfollowed people who weren’t inspiring me. I began to view social media as a force for good and I played the algorithms to connect me with personal development information, ‘liking’ and ‘following’ all things coaching.
I started working as a coach and my retail business grew. My eldest son took over management of the shop and set up an online shop in his spare time. I was teaching 4 yoga classes a week, coaching women and was part-time in my retail business. I was performing cancan at festivals. I was debt free. I was living the dream.
Then the first lockdown hit in 2019. My retail business was deemed ‘non essential’ and required to close, so my mortgage offer to buy a house was withdrawn, just as I’d accepted an offer on my flat. Festivals were cancelled. The Yoga studio where I taught closed.
I felt numb. Disbelief. Then anger. I guess that’s the standard grief cycle. I began to experience anxiety and have weird dreams. I would lie on my bed just staring at the ceiling. I felt trapped. I missed my old life.
After a few days I decided to make some changes. This could not go on. It was not sustainable and didn’t feel good. I worked on accepting my situation. I continued to coach my clients online. I decided to start teaching Yoga on zoom every weekday morning at 7am, meaning I’d need to be in bed by 9.30pm every evening. This self-imposed structure helped me immensely. I knew myself well enough to be aware that if I didn’t put something non-negotiable in place, I’d feel like I was missing the best part of the day by laying in in the mornings and staying up late at night. My yoga students kept me accountable, were great company, and I always feel amazing after teaching. I taught nearly 100 classes in the coming months. I got invited to teach at virtual retreats.
I participated in and facilitated online coaching communities. When I felt I had nothing of value to say, I contributed by having live facebook conversations with inspiring people and starting a YouTube channel where I shared my “Quarantine TV” episodes.
Our online shop flourished under the management of my son, and we started offering free delivery to our customers, with me driving around the country lanes in my mini convertible dropping off orders daily, roof down in the sunshine. I visited villages and valleys I’ve never seen before and discovered beautiful views and met lovely customers at their gates.
Again my limiting beliefs came up around my life and ‘status’ and I had to work hard on feeling OK about myself, stopping comparing myself to others and really focusing on each day. Living on the second floor over lockdown with no balcony was a real challenge in summer. I felt self conscious using the shared garden. So I went for long walks and sat on benches looking at the view. I breathed.
I carried on even on those days when I felt I was getting nowhere. I just kept showing up and doing my best, every day.
I jumped on to every zoom virtual coffee, seminar and workshop I could. I looked for the solutions and for those providing the solutions. I clocked up hundreds of hours of training. I even attended another two Tony Robbins events online. I bought a rebounder and went to online classes, I did a squats challenge and did morning workouts.
In short, I changed everything. Because if you want everything to change, that is what you have to do. And I learned that it is true what they say, that success comes at the last attempt.
In spring 2021 I finally got a mortgage offer, a buyer and bought my dream house.
If the past 2 years have taught me anything, it is that I really can choose how I live. That there are no limits I need to put on my life, and that even in the hardest of times, progress is possible. As is often suggested, “look for the helpers”.
I am immensely grateful to be living in my new home, to be able to step outside my kitchen and breathe in the morning air, and to be setting new goals. I hope to inspire women around the world to do the same.
Clare Honeyfield is a yoga teacher, coach and award winning entrepreneur living in Stroud, in the Cotswolds, and working globally to help women creatives move out of procrastination and into greatness through the development of self belief, self care, and community.