The Importance of Owning Your Story

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“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Victor Frankl

Recently the world’s no 1 tennis player, Ash Barty announced her retirement from tennis. It sent shockwaves worldwide. Ash Barty was at the pinnacle of her career and had many years ahead of her but chose to follow her own path.

I have been reading a lot lately about Ash Barty’s successful career. Like all tennis players Ash Barty had a team supporting her, ranging from her coach to physios and one particular team member that stands out to me. This is the person she credited with her becoming World Number 1, mindset coach Ben Crowe.

I have become fascinated by what Ben Crowe, a very successful and well renowned coach, brought to the table. He believes, if we define what kind of human we want to be (our values) at our absolute best and then live our life according to those values, we are successful whether we achieve our external goals or not.

Crowe defines success as knowing that you’re worthy of chasing your goals and dreams, regardless of whether you achieve them.

Focusing on something that is outside our control, for example the outcomes we’re trying to achieve or what others expect of us, not only leads to stress and anxiety, it doesn’t even help us get there.

In an interview with Sarah Berry from the Sydney Morning Herald, Ben Crowe says, “You still go after the things you love to do, they just don’t determine your self-worth……You can go after your dreams without any promise you’ll actually achieve those dreams and that’s OK.”

About Ash Barty, Ben Crowe says, “She’s truly embraced the principle of acceptance – accepting the things she can’t control and focusing back on the things she can control. She’s connected with her purpose and sense of why, she’s established her values which is so fundamental to anyone’s success because when we’re on our knees and life sucks it’s our values that gets us through.”

Ben Crowe has worked with many different people over his career as a mindset coach including the Richmond Football Club and surfer Stephanie Gilmore. When he works with his clients, he focuses on 3 main areas- connection, purpose and performance and asks 3 questions.

Who am I? What do I want? How do I get there?

There are great lessons here. It is about understanding what kind of person you want to be (your values) and what your purpose is in life. In fact, as put by Ben Crowe, it is about owning your story.

This extremely successful approach of Ben Crowe resonates very much with my aims in the online course I have recently created, Life Journal.

Life Journal is a five-week online course which gives you the skills to coach yourself to a more successful and fulfilling life. A key part of this course is doing practical activities that help you learn more about yourself, your values and what it is you truly want in your life, what gives you purpose and meaning.

Many of us although have personal values, have never consciously articulated them. Your values describe how you want to behave as a person and act in all situations throughout your life. They are how you want to treat yourself and others.

Values are in essence how you are true to yourself. They define your individual personality and make you feel authentic and engaged in life.

Values describe the principles you want to live by the qualities and character strengths you want to cultivate.

Another powerful technique I have in the Life Journal course which focuses on your inner life is to write your own eulogy: How do you want to be remembered? How have you connected with others over your life?

A eulogy is less about a person’s professional life and more about how much the person meant to their family and friends, their compassion and their lifelong passions.

David Brooks says, “They describe the person’s care, wisdom, truthfulness and courage. They describe the million little moral judgments that emanate from that inner region.”

At the end of the day if you are living your life according to your values, irrespective of whether you achieve those goals or not, you are living a successful life.

Clearly, an important part of coaching and self-development is in the setting and achieving of individual goals which align to your passions and personal vision.

This is indeed a precursor to living a more fulfilling and meaningful life, in this increasingly interconnected and chaotic world we live in.

However, what is significant in doing this, is the knowledge that it is not just about the achievement of those goals themselves. It is also about the self-mastery you gain and the person you become as a result.

The real value of setting goals is not in the goals themselves but in the person you become as a result of working on your goals. It is learning about yourself as a person, about growing and stretching yourself, about stepping out of your comfort zone and about manifesting more of your potential.

We may end up not achieving the specific goals we have and our goals may change. This is life. What is important though is the energy goal setting and taking action brings.

I have used the powerful self-coaching process in my Life Journal course for many years and I can tell you it works! It has helped me and many other people make positive and deep-lasting changes in their lives.

You will go through a structured process starting with deep reflection on your current life This includes a comprehensive Life Satisfaction Audit.  Before you can work on a compelling vision for the future, you need to understand your current reality and what areas of your life you want to improve.

In my Life Journal course there are 6 key steps to create a more fulfilling and meaningful life through learning to coach yourself and cultivating a growth mindset. You will learn to use a powerful cyclical model of change that you can continue to use well after you finish the course.

The definition of success adds a spiritual dimension and includes your emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing, values, resilience, personal mastery, relationships with people, ability to be present and how you can contribute and make a difference.

Of course, we all need a certain level of security, safety, and comfort. There is nothing wrong with having material goals, but if that’s the be all and end all for you for then you may find that they do not give you the satisfaction you thought they would.

Power and money seem to be something people want more and more of when they are on a materialistic path: accumulating more and more, needing more and more.

Underpinning this is the knowledge that you are so much more than your minds and bodies. At the end of the day, it is how you are inside that counts.

It is knowing that you can access that place of inner peace and presence even in this frantic and increasingly complex world.

Buddha said it so well, “As within, so without.”

The Life Journal online course is a great example of people developing and honing their growth mindset, recognizing the value of challenging themselves and the importance of effort and perseverance.

By setting goals to enhance your life circumstances and your inner wellbeing and then taking effective action, you will learn to make deep and lasting changes in your life.

The Life Journal course will support you in developing personal vision and set goals for a life you love. You will develop and implement a Personal Action Plan with specific actions for each week. You will also learn an effective tool for monitoring your progress towards your goals.

Following the self-coaching model will help you develop a greater understanding of yourself, your core values, strengths and passions and, above all, your purpose in life. This is where true success lies!

Check out the Life Journal course here.

Jeanette Brown

I have been in Education as a teacher, career coach and executive manager over many years.
I'm also an experienced coach who is passionate about supporting people in finding real meaning and purpose in their lives, building a resilient, grounded inner self and achieving their desired goals.

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