As women entrepreneurs, juggling many responsibilities can be challenging. It’s essential to take a structured approach to accomplish your goals and sustain focus.
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by Damian Reid
Our society throws the word ‘freedom’ around often with little thought to its meaning. How many times have you heard the commonplace phrase ‘financial freedom’? Are you expecting to eventually live financially free? What does achieving this signify to you?
In the business coaching work I do, clients create what I call The Freedom Lifestyle™. For these people, I intend something really specific. Although it’s specific, it implies different things to different people. For me and the business women I help, I am talking about that real specific vision you experience of your IDEAL life.
Do you recognize the ideal life I’m talking about? Try this…close your eyes and consider how living would appear without limits on money, time or chance. In my experience, I have yet to encounter someone who doesn’t have these dreams and ideals. The problem is that very, very few people own how to obtain it dependably.
Creating one’s ideal life can often constitute an intimidating task. Where do you start and what comes first? That’s why I developed the 7 Steps to The Freedom Lifestyle™.
It takes the guessing out of what to practice and in what order. It provides a step-by-step answer to produce, sustain and live an ideal life. You don’t need to adopt my system to obtain the promise of this article – a remarkable Freedom Lifestyle this year. I’m going to share the 4 pillars that embody the basis for starting this journey.
The 4 pillars exist in Step 1 of the 7 steps, ASSESS. This is where you determine what core elements are important to you. Completing Step 1 gives anyone a powerful platform on which to construct their future. This is regardless of whether they choose to proceed with the remaining 6 steps.
Like the 4 legs of a chair are equally important, so are these 4 pillars. Without one leg a chair becomes shaky and is in danger of falling. The same is true of these 4 pillars which constitute your values, your purpose, your vision and your strengths.
At some point, you have considered one or all these pillars in your life. But where is the result of that work now? How much of your daily actions derive from these pillars? Each of these pillars in its own right is powerful. Combined and integrated they make an incredible platform for your lifetime.
It doesn’t matter when you produce these in the year. If it’s early, then you sustain them for the rest of the calendar year. If it’s late, then you live them for the rest of the year and you initiate the new year strongly. What’s important is that you perform the work.
Core values represent the fundamental beliefs you accept about your spirit. They guide your behaviours, decisions, and actions. They contribute a sense of purpose and self-worth. They remind you what’s important to you and what you desire more of in your life.
When you recognize what’s important to you, you can live in alignment with those values. This leads to greater fulfillment, clarity and self-awareness. This self-consciousness gives you access to discovering your purpose. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Identifying and living from your core values brings you back to your center. Values remind you who you are and how you’re meant to live in the world. They’re gentle guide rails to hold us on our path and assist us to choose actions aligned with what we need. An article in Psychology Today listed 9 superpowers of recognizing your core values.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
Your “Purpose” goes by many different names including your mission and your why. No matter what you name it, living it is not merely important; it’s critical. Your Purpose rarely has anything to do with you as an individual. It’s about creating something for the people or causes you care about.
Sometimes before we see our genuine purpose, we need to peel away all the surface layers. A common layer that usually pops up first has to do with having money or material possessions. There is almost always something underneath that’s related to making a difference.
A study by a team of Harvard School researchers finds that if you feel you have a higher sense of purpose in life — defined as having meaning, a sense of direction and goals — you exist more likely to continue healthy and physically strong as you get older. A higher sense of purpose also correlates to decreased risks of disability, stroke, heart disease, sleep issues and other health problems.
Now that you’re clear about your purpose and core values, the next step is to create how that looks in your day-to-day. The method we employ is the introduction of a 10-year vision that includes all 12 Key Life Areas™.
Two questions always get asked about creating a long-term vision. How far out is the correct amount of time? And, How does this relate to vision or dream boards and do they perform the same purpose?
There is no ‘right’ answer to the first question. 10 years isn’t the ‘right’ amount of time. Neither is a 5- year vision nor a 15-year vision. 10 years is far enough away that it becomes a vision for you to aim toward. It’s also close enough for you to constitute a plan.
You want to see that most people tend to go halfway when it comes to creating their future. Lots of people produce visions and prepare goals. Many make visual representations of these goals. Developing a visual representation of your 10-Year Vision is only 50% of the equation. Many people miss the second, absolutely critical piece. The missing piece is establishing an emotional link with that vision board.
Skip that step and you miss engaging a powerful brain system that helps motivate you toward your vision. When you connect emotionally, your brain’s limbic system starts to generate neurochemicals. Your brain processes get to work subconsciously. Whether you recognize it or not, you begin actions consistent with the images on your vision board.
This final pillar is your strengths. 4 types of common and popular personality assessments exist. These four types are cognitive, affective, conative and astrological.
Cognitive assessments deal with the thinking part of the mind. Affective assessments deal with the feeling part of the mind. Some of the common assessments people are familiar with in this category are Enneagram, True Colours, Myers-Briggs, DISC, 7 Love Styles (based on the work of the 5 love languages), etc.
Conative assessments deal with the doing part of the mind. These assessments look at and predict behaviour in the areas of drive, instinct, necessity, mental energy, innate force and talents.
The fourth and final category is assessments based on your place and time of birth. These represent the astrological assessments available to you. A recent assessment in this category that has become popular is Human Design.
What is important about creating this pillar is not which test or category you choose from. But instead that you choose and you invest yourself in embracing that assessment.
1. Bring Clarity to Creating Your Core Values.You can download a guide here [https://damianmreid.com/resources] or you can apply any other tool that produces these results. When you feel stuck look to discover which Core Value is missing.
2. Create your Purpose.You can locate our template here [https://damianmreid.com/resources]. Simon Sinek has a great book Start with Why. Many methods exist to make this. Once you have it it’s time for your Vision.
3. Produce Your 10-Year Vision. It’s important to include all 12 Key Life Areas™. If you practice another way of categorizing your life areas that works also. Our guide is here [https://damianmreid.com/resources]. You want to learn the steps to get your 10-Year Vision translated into daily actions.
4. Identify Your Strengths. What are the areas where you want some support or need to catch pitfalls? Employ whatever affective, conative and astrological assessment you prefer. What’s important is that you align your actions with your strengths.
When you see the combined strength of these 4 pillars in your life, you get a sense of their power. From this position, you can produce a remarkable Freedom Lifestyle. One that inspires, directs and fulfills you!
Damian Reid is the CEO of Damian M. Reid International (www.damianmreid.com). He is a Performance and Freedom Lifestyle Mentor, Coach, and International Speaker. Damian has a reputation for rapidly assessing what is missing across the 12 Key Life Areas™. He defined these in his Amazon #1 international (US, Canada and Australia) bestselling book. He is the creator of The 7 Steps to The Freedom Lifestyle™ system. His effective, unconventional solutions create significant breakthroughs in clients’ businesses and personal lives. Damian is one of 225+ Full Focus Planner Certified PROs in the world (fullfocusmentor.com).