The magic of investing in yourself

Go to the profile of Amanda Cookson
Apr 01, 2019
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This year I decided I was going to say yes. Yes to everything that felt right; yes to doing stuff that felt good; yes to the things that that normally scared me.

Part of the motivation for this, is that this summer I turn 50. I read recently that being on the cusp of a milestone birthday inspires people to do things that they wouldn’t normally do. Reflecting on where you are in life results in people running marathons, climbing mountains, ticking off “big” life goals…

While my birthday is certainly a motivating factor, it’s not the only one.

I’ve always felt a bit of a lost soul, not certain who I am, what I want or where I fitted. When the department I ran closed and my role was made redundant I was determined to make a fresh start and take the time to find myself and connect with what I really wanted. As a result, I turned down what looked like my dream job in London, in favour of setting up Northern Value Creators with my husband, Simon and I’m so glad I did. It’s recently dawned on me that I’m running a successful business, the numbers are good and we’re growing. When I look at how far I’ve come since then, it feels amazing. The fact that I have achieved this makes me wonder what else I can do. So I’m going to find out!

Active v passive  

The word “yes” is energizing, action-orientated, and tied to movement and energy. In comparison, “no” symbolizes inertia, motionless and fixedness.

To feel able to say yes, I’ve had to change my mind set. In the past, I would allow my mind to create a story about how tricky something would be, and use this as an excuse not to do it — to stay in the position that I felt comfortable in. Instead, I now focus on the positives, on all the things I am capable of, and importantly, all the things that I’m grateful for. I think about three good things every morning before I get out of bed. Since I’ve been practicing gratitude, it’s felt like I’ve been drinking Liquid Luck. My glass is always half full rather than half empty.

This isn’t just about feeling better. It’s having an actual tangible impact too. Often we reject opportunities that can have a life-changing effect. Our fears and insecurities limit favourable conditions finding their way to us because we fixate on these disempowering states. Certainly since saying yes more, Simon and I have experienced more business opportunities, we’ve secured loads more clients and are working on lots of exciting projects.

Personally, I feel more in flow. My brain has shifted from what I can’t do to what I can do. Instead of seeing problems, I see opportunities.

Say yes to you  

However, saying “yes” isn’t just about doing more. It’s about investing in “you”.

How successful you are in life and in business is 100% dependent on how you feel about yourself and what you believe you are capable of. So many people I meet through my work as a coach are unhappy and not stepping into their power because they have limiting beliefs about themselves.

Self-development is fundamental to unlocking and realising all of your potential. This is about everything from attending lectures and workshops, listening to inspirational speakers, learning more about how things work (particularly the brain, one of my own personal passion projects); reading, watching ted talks, being mentored and coached. It even comes down to who you hang out with. The five main people in your life have a major influence on what you believe and do.

This is one of the reasons why we’re so excited to be attending the Do Lectures in West Wales. The Do Lectures are a place for attendees and speakers to sit side-by-side, share ideas, be inspired, and find the tools to make things happen. We’ve met some brilliant people recently who have told us how they accredit their change and business success to having attended this event. Who attends is very important to the output. If you don’t have the right people there with the right mindset, you don’t get the right conversation. So we feel really honoured to be two of the 100 people who were selected out of the 1,500 applicants. It’s the biggest thought-leadership festival in the country — and what do we do? We help people to think. Perfect.

But this isn’t the only way I’m investing in me.

I’m also training to be an Optimise CoachBrian Johnson, who runs the programme, believes that you need to focus on health and nutrition; work and what you do; love and relationships. If you get those three sorted you will have the building blocks and tools to be your best self. I am client number 1 and in order to graduate, I need to get my client [me] to complete a Spartan race. I can’t explain how much of a huge challenge this is for me but I know it will be transformative. I’m scared about it, not only because I’m unfit but also because I have scoliosis and 9 inches of my spine is fused solid. The surgeon warned me that if a bad fall shattered my spine I could be left paraplegic. There’s so much I’ve not done because of fear; investing in my health is important and this will give me the motivation I need to exercise.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did. ~ Mark Twain

I’m also going to visit my dad. He lives in Australia and has been encouraging me to visit for years. Previously I’ve used our children as an excuse but this year I’ve said yes. I’m very excited about this.

My first 50 years have gone by in a flash. I want to make the next 50 count. Why should I limit myself? I can do anything if I put my mind to it, right — and that means saying yes. Yes to doing what feels right; and yes to investing in me.

After all, an investment in yourself is a great example of self-love, and may very well be the most profitable investment a person can ever make.

Go to the profile of Amanda Cookson

Amanda Cookson

Founder, Northern Value Creators

I'm an experienced Professional Coach working in the tech, digital and creative sector. I work with founders and senior leaders, combining understandings from neuroscience, psychology and Conversational Intelligence® to help people at all levels of the business flourish and reach their full potential. Prior to becoming a professional coach and establishing my own consultancy I was a part of the SMT for a global leader in adult learning, e-learning and e-assessment. I have expertise in business excellence; customer experience; organisational change; and teaching and learning. I have had a lifelong interest in personal development and firmly believe that we can make whatever we want happen. I received my first training in coaching in 2001 and from then on have honed my skills and embodied coaching into my approach to leadership. My Coaching Style is client lead. I use deep listening to create high levels of trust and psychological safety. I draw upon my extensive knowledge of coaching techniques and philosophies; alongside understandings from neuroscience to intuit the right approach for my clients to achieve the transformations they seek. I believe change comes from awareness, acceptance of responsibility, understanding our choices and taking decisive action. I support my clients across their personal change journey and help them to gain greater insights, perceive wider choices and develop effective strategies

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