We had a fabulous time at Choice, Chance, Change & are delighted to share some things we learned from our amazing speakers. We’re already planning future events so if you want to hear more please do get in touch with Julie or Vic O’Farrell.
There often comes a point in our lives when we feel like it’s time to make a change. Far too many of us become stuck in both lives and jobs that are just okay, rather than ones we really love.
Choice, Chance, Change was a conference for anyone who has ever felt that they needed to alter something in their lives, but maybe weren’t sure how to do it.
Here are the 6 most important things we learned:
Negative changes don’t work as well as positive ones
Every 12 months, as one year gives way to another, millions of people around the world write down their New Year’s Resolutions. They won’t drink as much, they won’t eat as much, they won’t bite their nails any more. Then, a couple of weeks later (or less!) millions of people accept defeat. Research demonstrates that this is because focusing on negative change is nowhere near as effective as positive change. Telling yourself you won’t smoke… just makes you think of cigarettes. Don’t believe us? DON’T think about a pink elephant…. Instead, we should all think in terms of positive changes we want to make. Think about the positive impact of what you DO want to achieve and the benefits it will bring, not what you want to give up or stop doing!
If you love what you do, you will become good at it, after all, practice makes…improvement
Every one of us has a passion, something that we love, that we wish we could make a living out of, yet something always appears to get in the way. All too often, “Imposter Syndrome” gets in the way and a voice in the back of our heads whispers that people will discover that we aren’t actually very good and that we don’t have the right experience or qualifications to pursue our passion, or that we don’t have a track record of success and therefore can’t ask other people to pay for our services.
What we saw at Choice, Chance, Change was that sometimes these dreams can become reality. Despite plenty of those present admitting they have suffered from Imposter Syndrome at some point, our speakers were proof that if you love something, you will persevere, sometimes doing it all the time, without it ever feeling like a chore. The more you do it, the more certain you are to become good at what you do. But, never think that practise makes perfect! Perfection isn’t necessarily a healthy goal, just make sure that you are improving…
Don’t underestimate how much difference one coffee can make, to you or someone else
Number three is one where the header pretty much says it all. Always go into an encounter with an open mind, you never know what you will learn from the person you’re talking too. You never know what you might be able to help them with. That one encounter might be the one that triggers your great idea, that makes you realise that the time is right to make that change. That one encounter may make the world of difference to the person you are meeting.
Give yourself permission to be you – Your image is your business card
We all know what we’re meant to wear, what’s appropriate business attire, but does it match who you are on the inside? Often the person you try so hard to keep hidden, is dying to come out. This doesn’t mean that you should start turning up to the work in a tracksuit or your pyjamas, but don’t be afraid to find out what clothes and colours work for you and suit your body shape. We all need to give ourselves permission to be the person we really want to be and one step towards doing so is letting your personality come out in your appearance. After all, the moment we realise we only have one life is the moment we start living our second one!
Failure is not the opposite of success and slipping up doesn’t mean you are incapable of change
In our society, failure is often seen as shameful, to be avoided at all costs and never to be admitted. But this is completely the wrong mind-set. Learning from failure is how we get better. The list of famous, successful individuals who failed time and time again before hitting the bigtime is literally endless. Walt Disney was fired from his local paper in Kansas for having no imagination. Albert Einstein was turned down for a promotion at the Swiss Patent Office at the same time as he was working on the Theory of Relativity. JK Rowling pitched harry Potter to over a dozen publishers before Bloomsbury took a chance on her.
All these people knew that slipping up once doesn’t mean that you are incapable of change. In fact, psychologists claim that when you are trying to give something up or change something about yourself you should expect to fail up to five times before the change becomes permanent.
We can all change. Never underestimate the power within each and every one of you
Perhaps the most important thing we learned during the Choice, Chance, Change conference was reinforced when keynote speaker Richard McCann took to the stage.
When Richard was only five years old his mother became the first murder victim of Peter Sutcliffe, (better known as the Yorkshire Ripper). He was raised by an abusive, alcoholic father, forced to leave the army when he had a mental breakdown and spent time behind bars after dealing drugs. His sister and best friend wasn’t able to cope with their traumatic lives and committed suicide. After he had started to turn his life around and finally found a stable relationship, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Despite all this, Richard refuses to be a victim. He has become one of the country’s most accomplished motivational speakers, performing to audiences of thousands. Still he insists there is absolutely nothing special about him, that every single one of us has the ability to turn their lives around and unleash the potential within.