Tag Archives: personal mastery

Shifting Relationships

A brief video describing a simple life hack that expands your world of choice with relationships. Includes enabling you to:

  • turn a situation around
  • improve your understanding of other people
  • access your inner wisdom
  • reconnect with your own feelings and needs
  • Freshen up your thinking, feelings and happenings
  • ….. and more

The 27 Minute Rule

If you are not doing something that must be done, you may find it useful to call on “The 27 Minute Rule”.

The 27 minute rule is quite simple.  You make a strict deal with yourself to focus on the matter in hand for twenty seven minutes. You allow nothing to hijack that dedicated time. No excuses!

27 minutes… and that’s it – that’s the rule.

separatorWhatever happens in those twenty seven minutes, I know that I will emerge with something of value.

At the one extreme, I may get stuck in to whatever it is and the flow, well, flows and the deed is done!

Often, I find that I make serious inroads into the matter in hand during the allocated time and/or emerge with a do-able action plan to move it forward.

At the other extreme, I may spend my precious 27 minutes mumbling and grumbling, cursing and sulking (and I’m quite good at all of that). I can get something useful from this. By the end of the 27 minutes, I will have insight into whatever is stopping me getting on with it. Compared with the oblivion of inaction, such insight is gold dust – I can work with that!

In the process, I may gain insight in to what is stopping me. There may be lots and lots of different reasons (or is that excuses?) for why I am procrastinating so much that I have to call on the 27 minute rule.  There may be some FEAR (False Expectation Appearing Real)  – what if I do it wrong (better to do nothing than get it wrong)? Stupid, I know, but a big blocker even so.  Maybe there are too many unknowns (don’t know where to start, what to do, where stuff is that I need etc.). Perhaps I simply don’t want to (childish sulk mode, having a tantrum – and I can be quite good at that).

Stating the obvious, perhaps, but the most important thing about this rule is not the number of minutes, it is the concentrated focus during the time that you allocate. Occasionally, I catch myself thinking 15, or even 5, minutes is all I can possibly contemplate – and, sometimes, that is all it takes to break the stalemate and kick start a way forward.

If you’re like me, anything that you keep putting off (for whatever reason) starts to take on monster proportions and distorts out of all perspective. It is on my mind, all the time, like a wicked whisper in the background or a looming cloud that permeates and poisons my inner world.  Out of proportion, or what! At the very least, when I get to the end of the 27 minute window the matter is put back in to proportion. Well worth it, don’t you think?

Strike a Pose

Strike a pose – position yourself in a certain physical posture and change the way you are feeling – from the outside-in. How useful is that? Feeling nervous maybe, say, before an interview? Take two minutes in a private space, adopt a confident posture and emerge feeling, and looking, confident. Handy?

We all know that body posture reflects the way we are feeling. Take a look at these two characters.

Images courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Images courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

At a glance, you can read how they are feeling, can’t you? How do you do that? You notice their body posture and, from that, interpret how they are feeling. Given that our feelings show up in our body posture, can our body posture influence how we are feeling?

Act as if

To get a real sense of how very effective and simple this is, why not give it a go? Adopt a posture, strike a pose and notice the way that your feelings mirror your pose. To illustrate, pick a way you would like to feel. Let’s use “feeling confident” as an example.


Relax. Consider, what does a “feeling confident” body posture mean to you?

Recall that feeling. Think of something, call up a memory of when you had that feeling of confidence.

Your own experience, a memory, is best. If, however, you are finding it difficult to call up a memory and that’s what stopping you from giving this a try, you can always use someone else’s confident posture as a reference model. Notice what you observe in their body posture that makes you think that they are feeling confident.

Notice your “feeling confident” physical posture – head, chin, eyes, arms, shoulders, upper body, legs, feet, lower body, facial expression etc. Notice such things as how you are holding your head – is your head lifted or bowed? Are your shoulders slumped or straight? What angle are your head, shoulders and upper body at? What shape is your mouth – smiling, straight? What expression is in and around your eyes? How are your feet placed? What is your breathing like – deep or shallow? Fast or slow? …

Notice as much of your “feeling confident” body posture as you can.

Relax. Shake it off.


Strike a pose.

What did you notice about your confident pose? Change your body posture to reflect what you noticed. Start anywhere you like. Changes may include such things as, say, set your feet slightly apart, straighten your shoulders, lift your head a little, smile a bit … a bit more, breathe more deeply, eyes looking forward …

Any aspect of your body posture may trigger the whole feeling. Often, but not always, the way you are breathing, holding your head and your facial expression may act as a trigger for the rest of the posture. Sometimes it can be something to do with how you place your feet.


I believe that you will know when your “feeling confident” pose is a good copy of the original. How? You will be, well, feeling confident (on the inside), matching your physical posture. It’s great to experience, isn’t it?

Supporting Research

This “fake it till you make it” or “acting as if” is an example of a positive feedback loop. The more you do it, the less faked it feels. Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body posture.

“ … don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it. Do it enough until you actually become it and internalise.”

Amy Cuddy TED Talk: “Your body language shapes who you are” (June 2012)

In the world of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) you may encounter “Anchoring” and recognise how this uses this body posture: inner feelings connection to good effect.

Like many of you, I have been doing something like this, unknowingly, instinctively, for a long time. I now think that this is what I was doing when putting on a brave face at my first day at school (I was determined to NOT cry – I was a big girl now!). This is what I was doing when gathering myself before giving a presentation to a roomful of people (without it I would have been in a million pieces, desolated and inarticulate). The scenarios and feelings where I call upon this ‘strike a pose’ are endless.

I have little doubt that we all, knowingly or unknowingly, strike a pose, put on a front at some time for a whole host of reasons. This means that we already have all the skills and resource we need to do this. We know that we read body posture so, having noticed what aspects matter, we can write it in our own posture. Just two minutes of your time to observe, do and know that it is possible. Just two minutes for you to make it so, at will.

This is a capability that we all have and one that I feel so lucky to knowingly possess.

In the future, whenever you want to feel a particular way, strike a pose (adopt the physical posture) and … like magic … the matching feeling (on the inside) will blossom. Enjoy!

The Power of Yet

The Power of Yet icon

Here we are talking about the word ‘yet’ in the sense of ‘up until now’ or ‘so far’.

If there is something that you have tried to achieve but have failed at and, maybe, even given up on, then I encourage you to give the ‘power of yet’ a try. Whatever you’re thinking that you can’t do, or have failed at, simply rephrase using the word ‘yet’ – and notice the difference in your  thinking.

To illustrate:

  • “I have failed my exam!” This sounds so final, over and done with. ‘Failed’ is such a harsh
    and mocking word.
  • “I haven’t passed my exam, yet.” It doesn’t change the fact that I failed the exam. Some may think that I am just playing with words – but I am not. Using the word ‘yet’ makes a real difference to how I feel about it and what I will do about it.

The power of the little word “yet” should not be underestimated! Using the word ‘yet’:

  • kicks your brain in to a puzzle solving mode. Your thinking can go something like “Well, I may not have succeeded so far, so what else do I need to do to achieve it in the future?
  • leaves the door open to future possibilities
  • creates greater persistence
  • encourages a growth mindset so that you may find a way to succeed
  • provides a positive context  for you to engage with the matter in hand

separatorI have been taking advantage of the power of ‘yet’ for a long time now. Whenever I come up against something that I think (maybe even believe) that I can’t do, big or small, profound or trivial, I simply add the word “yet” to the end of the statement. To illustrate:

  • “I can’t do that dance!” Sounds final, doesn’t it?
  • “I can’t do that dance, yet.” My expectation moves towards the possibility that someday, one day, I may be able to do it. What do you reckon?

Why not try out a bit of ‘The Power of Yet’ for yourself. I hope it works for you as powerfully as it works for me.

You may be interested in taking a look at a brief TED talk – Carol Dweck: The power of believing that you can improve  that talks about the growth mindset and includes a powerful illustration of the power of yet.