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October 15, 2014
I was thinking about the notion that we are more limited by our thoughts and assumptions than by reality when I came across this amazing video of an elephant drawing an elephant! So rather than write about it, I thought I would share it.

There are lots of things that can stop us from living the life we truly want, but visioning beyond what we 'believe' is possible is a critical first step. So, I figure that if an elephant can draw (and better than me I might add!) than you and I can probably push through our limiting assumptions and achieve way more than we assume we can right now.

Featured Article
How to Actually Get the Life of Your Dreams

Many articles, books and workshops advise us to act "as if." Act as if you know what you are doing. Act as if you've already achieved your goal or got the job. Act as if you're successful. Act as if you're confident.

If we subscribe to the theory behind the action, it means that if we try on the thing we've always wanted, we're more likely to achieve it. Problems arise, however, if we don't actually want the life we say we want. For instance, we may say we want to leave our jobs and run our own business, but if we actually don't want the added responsibility, acting "as if" will be an empty exercise. We often have to give something up to get what we want—and we may not be ready to part with what is secure, known or comfortable. We usually have to take risks to really get what we want, yet sometimes fear or reality get in the way of taking those risks.

Additionally, the fake it 'till you make it theory often runs into practical problems. In their book, "The Confidence Code", authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman say that's about the worst thing you can do. "Confidence isn't about pretending or putting on an act," they write. "Confidence springs from genuine accomplishment and work." They suggest that you try one small, brave thing, and then the next will be easier. "And soon confidence will flow," they write. "We know—'fake it til you make it' sounds catchier—but this actually works."

So what's the solution?

How does a person turn what they say they want into what they actually get? Here are some ways to begin.

Start slowly. When people decide to make a significant change in their lives they often try to do too many things at once and get overwhelmed or discouraged. Focus on one thing that'll get you closer to the "you" you'd like to become.

Face your resistance. Change is challenging for most of us. You must be courageous and willing to face any underlying beliefs that might be getting in your way.

Don't just set goals, visualize them. Whether you write a letter from the future you, make a list, or create a dream board with magazine photos of your life as you'd like it to be—a visual, concrete representation is a potent and tangible reminder of what your customized, ideal life looks like.

Hang out with people who are like what you want to be. Role models are a great way to learn what works and avoid what doesn't. Ask questions. Observe them. Change. Grow.

Start acting like it. Once you've visualized yourself living "as if" you're already becoming that person, start taking the actions that person would take. Actions can either reinforce the old beliefs or the new ones.

Self-care. Ask yourself, "How would these people I'm hanging out with, or the ideal 'as if' me, treat themselves if they were experiencing similar challenges?" Then respond accordingly.

Change your environment so it's in alignment with your new "as if" reality. There's no better killer of change than a stagnant environment that encourages stagnant behavior. Try a change of scenery. It can be the impetus for a positive attitude and behavior change.

Habits die hard. It's easy to become stuck with (or comforted by) old habits. When routines get in the way of change, the best way to shed them is to replace them with something new. Try one change at a time.

Grow into it. Make choices in your business and work life as though you already have the growth you want. That doesn't mean getting into debt spending "as if" you have all the money you'd like to have. It can be as simple as replacing a scarcity philosophy with one of abundance.

Acting "as if" doesn't mean change occurs overnight. We're all faced with dozens of decisions every day that either support the life we have or the life we want. By incorporating some of the steps above, you'll be ready to make choices that will help you realize your dreams sooner rather than later.

Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications

On the Horizon
If today's article resonates with you, and you would like to move forward with your goals and dreams, please contact me to see if coaching might assist you reach those goals. Also, stay tuned for my new, interactive, on-line program that will help you put this all into action.

Are you trying to make a living through making your art?
Are you wanting to live your life more intentionally in alignment with your values?
Are you self employed and want to take it to the next level both personally and professionally?

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Coming Soon:
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Words to Ponder
"If you hear voice within you say 'you cannot paint', then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."
- Vincent Van Gogh

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined."
- Henry David Thoreau
With a background in education, social work, and psychology, I understand the various ways that people are motivated to change. Throughout my career, I have promoted growth and development, healing, and change. I have worked as an educator and psychotherapist and have provided training, workshops, and professional development programs.

As a Life Coach, I work with professionals, artists, and entrepreneurs who get stuck in the routines and busyness of everyday life. Some have postponed or been derailed from their personal or professional goals, but are motivated to reclaim their lives and live more in accordance with their core values. Others simply value the notion of 'not going it alone' and see the benefits of working with a coach to achieve more than what they could do on their own. I help people envision their future and identify what they most want and need in order to thrive. I help them overcome their obstacles so that they can spend their time and energy more intentionally. By working together, my clients reach beyond what they thought was even possible and actively create more meaningful personal and or work lives.

I live in Toronto with my wonderful partner, and we have two incredible and talented teenagers.
Paula Klein
Life Coach and Social Worker (MSW)

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