Posts in Mindset
Why I'm not a realist

Doesn’t the world look so much better through rose coloured glasses? (Or in this case, a rose coloured lightroom filter?)

Realist: A person who believes in seeing things the way they really are, as opposed to how they would like them to be.

Optimist: a person who tends to be hopeful and confident about the future or the success of something.

I’m not a realist because while studying psychology at university, I learned all about the harmful affects of realism. Or in other words, the heath-boosting and success-inducing effects of optimism.

Studies show that positive illusions (favourable beliefs that are often exaggerated and inconsistent with reality) can actually slow down and even reverse both mental and physical illness.

One study by Taylor (2005) researched the effect of positive illusions on disease progression in men with HIV. Taylor found that the men who held onto optimistic beliefs despite a terminal diagnosis tended to live an average of nine months longer than those who accepted their terminal diagnosis.

He also found that of the men who had not yet developed symptoms of AIDS from their HIV, those who had positive beliefs regarding the future were less likely to develop the symptoms of AIDS within the next year than those without positive beliefs. He concluded that positive illusions can have a positive affect on physical health and slow the progression of some types of disease.

AND he found that even unrealistically optimistic beliefs had a protective factor for mental health.

Unrealistically optimistic beliefs. Being “unrealistic” is good for your health. Dude.

That’s why I’m determined to be totally unrealistic.

The mind is freaking POWERFUL. Don’t dull it down with realistic ideas.

Frustration is the precursor to a breakthrough

Gah. Sometimes it feels like I’m banging my head against a brick wall with my goals, struggling and struggling away with seemingly no progress. But recently while I was on a call with one of my clients, observing her do the same thing, I was able to observe an interesting pattern. The best moments in her life were always preceded by her biggest moments of terror, frustration and anxiety. That understanding helped me see: If you want to have a breakthrough, you have to have a some that needs breaking through. You can’t have a brilliant, genius breakthrough if everything is coasting along smoothly. You can’t break through thin air. You can however, break through a wall, or even a glass ceiling. I try to remind myself of that. Before each life-changing breakthrough, there’s a wall of frustration. Frustration is the precursor to a breakthrough. It’s a necessity for greatness.

If you’re feeling frustrated, stuck or exhausted, try to see it as a good sign – it’s setting you up for your biggest breakthrough yet.

I've had it!
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Financial guru Dave Ramsey says that people don’t make a real change until they say this one phrase: “I’ve had it!”

Sometimes it just takes that feeling that comes with being fed up, being exhausted, having had enough, before you are truly motivated to change.

That’s what the last month was for me. I had several “I’ve had it” moments across different areas of my life and decided things were going to have to change.

Even though I’d tried to change them before (finances, aspects of my business etc), I hadn’t really committed at the level I did once I had my “I’ve had it” moment.

If you haven’t had an ‘I’ve had it!’ moment, you’ve probably experienced something similar to it.

Translations for the “I’ve had it!'“ moment:

  • Enough is enough!

  • That’s it!

  • I’m done!

  • Screw this!

  • It’s over!

Although the period of change SUCKS (I really feel that at the moment as I’m doing 80 hour weeks in my business and freelancing to sort my life out), it’s a relief to be making the change. I know in the future, I’ll be on the other side of it, so grateful I pushed myself, congratulating myself like Snoop Dogg.

Dedication
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I’ll be honest, I was so drained from working insane hours this week that let a few tears loose last night. But it’s quotes like these that remind me why I’m doing what I’m doing. Sometimes it feels like to reach my goals, I have to move further away from them. I hope that it’s like the analogy of a bow and arrow – you have go backwards to catapult forwards. I hope this is my catapult, my run up. But no matter what, I’m dedicated to my goals, I’m dedicated to my vision for the impact I want to have.

Elizabeth Gilbert is in my opinion, one of the most brilliant writers that has ever walked this earth. Her book Big Magic changed the lens I look through completely. This quote is from Big Magic. I treasure it, and I want to bring it with me everyday.

It’s not about the end result, it’s about commitment to the path.

Impossible is the possible that hasn't been done yet
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Tonight I was watching the most incredible documentary on Netflix called Heal. I had many takeaways, but the biggest one was that we often palm off spiritual healing as unscientific. In fact, we palm off anything we don’t understand as unscientific. But just because something is inexplicable now doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an explanation. For most of human history, we had no idea of the things we know today. We didn’t know the earth was round, how DNA works, or how to get to the moon. We know these things now.

And one day, I believe we will know what happens after death, how to cure cancer, and how to talk about politics on Facebook without being unfriended, and anything else that seems impossible at this moment.

Why is this relevant? Because it points to another way of saying the same thing:

Impossible Goals are is just the possible achievements that haven’t been done yet.

They haven’t been transferred in our minds from one side of the equation (impossible) to the other (certain). But eventually, they will.

The earth was round before we discovered it was round. The moon was landable before we landed on it. And not just a few years before, but the whole time – from the very beginning of time.

I’m kind of imagining it like we have the impossible on one side of a spectrum, possible in the middle, and certain on the other side. They aren’t separate, the only thing separating them is the way we look at them.

Your impossible goal is achievable before you actually do it. That’s what potential is.

It’s really just about moving the way you see it from one side of the spectrum to another. Ooh I think this is going to require another blog post for a more in-depth explanation.

What I learned from Snoop Blogg

“I want to thank me for believing in me.
I want to thank me for doing all this hard work.
I want to thank me for having no days off.
I want to thank me for never quitting.
I want to thank me for always being a giver and trying to give more than I receive.
I want to thank me for trying to do more right than wrong.
I want to thank me for always being me.”

The message here could be “Thank yourself.” And I think that is partly right. That was my initial reaction watching the video – that I should thank myself.

But my intuition tells me this is a much deeper learning lesson than just giving yourself credit for what you’ve done. It’s about becoming the kind of person who deserves that credit.

It’s about working your butt off until you’re in a position to say those things and actually mean them. So that you can truly stand over your Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and thank yourself seriously.

I thank myself now. But I know that there is so much further to go, and right now, I’m committed to doing the second part of the sentence so I can do the first part later – I’m doing the believing in me, I’m doing the hard work, I’m doing the having no days off, I’m doing the never quitting. So that in the future I can do the thanking.

93% Extrovert
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This is my Myers-Briggs Personality Quiz result for how introverted or extroverted I am. Results are pretty clear!

This is my Myers-Briggs Personality Quiz result for how introverted or extroverted I am. Results are pretty clear!

Today I spent all day talking on the phone. Literally, all day. From 8:30am to 10pm. I coached my 1:1 High Performance clients, I coached my Group High Performance Coaching, I called a friend, and I was on the phone for my freelancing. I’m not even exaggerating, it was all day.

And at the beginning of today when I got ready for my day, I thought that would drain me. But after each call, I came away more buzzed and energized than I was when I got on the call. And the times when I did start to feel tired were when I was alone, prepping for the next call. I felt more tired on my lunch break than I did on working. Weird… Why didn’t 14 hours of calls drain me?

Oh yes, it’s because I’m an extrovert. And not just a bit – I’m 93% extroverted (if you want to know your percentage, take my favourite Myers-Briggs personality type quiz here!).

Someone once described it to me like this: Introversion is like a battery, extroversion is like a solar panel. Introverts need to charge up their battery alone, and their battery slowly “drains” in social situations. Extroverts feed off other people for their energy, and it depletes when they are alone.

Even though I’m sleepy and ready for bed after a long day, I still feel energized.

As a kid, people used to ask me where I would get all my energy from. I used to just say “You just make it! You just pull it out of thin air!” But now I know what was really happening – I wasn’t pulling it from thin air, I was pulling it from other people! Even today, if I’m alone for too long (maybe a day without talking to anyone), I lose my energy. I start to feel really exhausted and even in extreme cases, tend towards a depressed mood.

The message here: Set your day up around your energy. Do you need more time alone or time with others? How can you incorporate more of that?

I’m so I’m incredibly grateful that my day involves so much human connection and socializing because that lights me up.

Not about to become a Buddhist Nun meditating in solitude in a cave anytime soon.

(Also, I don’t think I’d suit the bald look, personally.)

High Heels vs Trainers
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Every time someone takes a photo of me, my instinct is, “Ooh, don’t get my gym shoes in!” And I thought about cropping them out of these photos. (Simple solution: don’t wear gym shoes everywhere you go.) But here’s the thing: I always thought my ideal self would wear high heels everywhere she went. But actually, when I think about my ideal self, she’s travelling, running, exercising, doing 100 push ups on the regular… my ideal self would be wearing trainers most of the time. That’s just the truth, no matter how much I used to picture my ideal self as Carrie Bradshaw (who spent $40,000 on shoes in 10 years), let’s face it, my ideal self is more like Michelle Obama. Michelle is real goals. I bet you, when Michelle is not in meetings, she’s in trainers. Crushing it. Not to meetings (currently: guilty), but mostly she would. I mean, what’s a High Performer if she can’t break into a full workout at a moments notice? But truly, I think it’s really important to recognise that our ideal selves morph over time, wich is totally okay. And that’s what’s happened to me – the old version of my ideal self has morphed. She’s upgraded. I’ve changed my aim. I still love heels, and I won’t stop wearing them. But I’m giving up my embarrassment about wearing gym shoes everywhere now.

This isn’t really about shoes. It’s about accepting that your ideal self can change over time. (When I was 14, my ideal self had flaming red hair and could ride a skateboard and speak Elvish. Yikes. It’s good that not only we change, but our ideal selves change too.

Have you checked in with the vision of your ideal self lately? Are you trying to embody an outdated version of her/him?

Ask for help - no, really.
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I’ve been exhausting myself the past two weeks, trying to do it all on my own, juggling a million things, when really I have so much amazing support. It doesn’t even matter what it is for you - if you’re getting overwhelmed or stressed or exhausted, don’t forget to ask for help.

I did, and now I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders because my friends and family are INCREDIBLE.

Just a short but seriously important message today. Don’t forget your support network. Go and ask for help.

Do it.

Veganniversary
Did you know in 2017 I had a vegan t-shirt line?

Did you know in 2017 I had a vegan t-shirt line?

This September marks 3 years of being vegan! Hands down, best decision I’ve ever made.

Shall I get a tattoo?! Haha - maybe one day!

I made the decision in a split second. I watched this video and it just hit me. I’ve never looked back.

Why am I vegan? It comes down to this: Why would you kill someone when you don’t have to?

If you’ve been hearing about veganism but not really sure why people are vegan, then watch THE BEST SPEECH YOU’LL EVER HEAR.

I used to be really angry. I was the classic angry vegan everyone hates. There was a point were I cried almost every single day for a month. I was distraught.

I’m not less angry about it now, I’ve just channeled my anger into activism.

I have hope in my heart that we will have a vegan world one day. That’s what keeps me positive <3

If you want to chat about going vegan or veganism in general, please email me at hello@saraharnoldhall.com or message me on Instagram! My arms and heart are wide open for you!

Unstoppable

On Friday, after writing down everything that’s happening in the next month, I had a few hours of ‘oh my gosh there’s no way I can possibly get everything done I need to get done, I’m going to have to drop some things off my plate.' I got so stressed I cried.

And then I went for a run. And I remembered what Tony Robbins said that he does on a run. He says “I’m fucking unstoppable. I’m fucking unstoppable.” Over and over and over. I tried it. That is POWERFUL. By the end of my run, I was in a whole new mindset.

Creating success is not a question of lowering the bar. It’s a question of increasing your effort.

I decided that this is actually a challenge, to see if I’m capable of crushing a million things on my list. To see if I can handle every plate I’m spinning (spoiler: I can and so can you).

Where are you backing down in your life right now, where it’s really a call for you to step up?

That image is now my phone wallpaper. Please screenshot it and use it as yours, and most importantly, say it out loud whenever you see it, to remind yourself that you are fucking unstoppable.

Storytelling
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The other day I had a card “pulled” for me from an oracle deck. I don’t personally believe in any divine input in this, but I think it’s fun to see what comes up and if it resonates with where you’re at in life (I feel the same way about astrology, doesn’t seem to be science-backed (open to hearing if you think it is!), but still fun to see if you fit the “sign” you are allocated.

So this “storytelling” card was the one I got. I really resonated with it, and so I wanted to talk share why.

The stories we tell ourselves are so powerful. If tell ourselves the story of how we are strong, resilient and destined for success, that’s what we’ll see. If we tell ourselves the story of how we are hopeless and doomed, that’s what we’ll see. We get to choose how we see each situation and the world.

For a long time, I had been telling myself the story that people don’t want to engage with my content. That people aren’t interested in me for me. I have completely changed that identity now. Now I’m telling myself the story of how I’m building my success, how people contact me because they’re interested in my work, I’m getting better each day, I’m working on myself, and each day just gets better and better.

What is the story you’re telling yourself?

Random Acts of Honesty
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I got given this mindset journaling prompt by a coach: What would I be afraid for people to find out? Now go and share it.

Ahhhhh! That brings up SO many icky feelings. YES, I want to be honest and authentic, but on the internet, really? Do I have to? Yes. I’m challenging myself to share the stuff I don’t want to share for two reasons:

  1. I hope it encourages you - by knowing that not everything is perfect in my life, I hope that you get strength from that and know that everything doesn’t have to be perfect for you to be amazing.

  2. Because I don’t want to have any “secrets”. I want to feel FREE. If I share the truth about my life, then no one can expose me, right?

Okay, here’s to random acts of honesty:

  • Even though I run my own business, I also do freelance work (social media management) on the side to ensure a stable income every month. In coaching, some months you’ve got lots of clients, and then sometimes you have none. It can be super scary. Before I got my freelance job, I spent a month wearing sunglasses inside because I’d broken my regular glasses and couldn’t afford a new pair because I didn’t have any clients that month. I even went to the movies and had to wear them, haha! I’ve casually mentioned it before that I do freelancing, but I’ve been scared to “announce” it, because I worry people won’t think I’m successful enough to hire me if I don’t earn a full time income as a coach. But I know I’m a great coach - and the number of clients I have month to month has nothing to do with my coaching skills, only my marketing skills (which I’ll admit, I need to work on!).

  • One of my biggest fears is a media storm. When the Everest Film came out in 2015, there was this one article done about me, titled “Sarah Arnold-Hall: Where Is She Now?”. I’m scared that one day, someone is going to find my blog and my business and share it with the world before I feel “successful enough”. I’m afraid it will get international coverage like the last one, and I’ll have my half-done website and cringe YouTube videos broadcasted to the world before I have a chance to prove what I can really do. Kind of like if it were your first time painting a portrait in art class, and then halfway through, someone showed it to the whole school. You’d be like, “Wait! Don’t show everyone, it’s not ready yet! I can do better! Don’t judge me based off this!”. Haha - a silly example, but do you know what I mean?

  • I compare myself to others success - not often (doing mindset work on it!), but when I do, it’s ugly! I’ve been procrastinating creating YouTube videos because I feel like my house isn’t “pretty enough” like other YouTubers. And if my house isn’t pretty enough, then people won’t think I’m successful enough… blah blah blah.” You know, it’s really interesting writing these out - I can see where I need to do more mindset work! I’ve spent the last 2 weeks irritated that our walls are painted Magnolia and not White. Of course, I won’t let it stop me long term, but it’s amazing how the silly details like comparing yourself to other people can make you procrastinate!

  • Body confidence is a thing I’m working on, particularly on loving my beauty spots. I’ve spent at least the last 10 years disgusted that I have two brown spots on my cheek. I’ve tried loads of makeup to cover them up, always made sure to be photographed on my “good side” and spent far too much time analysing dermatologist websites to see if they can remove them. What a waste of time! It’s only in the last few months, after finally realising that I can’t get them removed without scarring that I’m trying to come to peace with them. I can hear how ridiculous this sounds as I’m writing it. There are people starving, and I’m worried about two marks on my face?! But the self confidence and body positivity movement doesn’t seem to include slim women and men. And I think faces should be included in the body positivity movement too!

  • I get messages every single day from strangers grieving for me that I lost my dad. It’s the most bizarre experience to pick your phone up at breakfast, and lunch, and dinner and find that someone is sorry for your loss that happened 23 years ago, before you were born. It feels a bit like I’m attending a virtual funeral every time I open my DM’s. Sometimes there are even voice messages of people in floods of tears. 95% of the messages are from men, and at least 10% of them also contain a request to date/meet up. I’ve been proposed to 6 times on Instagram messenger. And one guy actually straight up told me we were getting married, he didn’t even ask. Haha! However, apart from the really weird messages, I do appreciate the love I receive, and I’m incredibly grateful for every kind and loving message. If you’ve ever sent one of those and I haven’t replied, it’s because I get hundreds of messages every week. You can show your support by engaging with my current content (and then I might reply!). I’ve been afraid to share this, because I don’t want people to think I’m not grateful. I just want you to know I’m happy and I don’t reply because I don’t want to talk about it with everyone all the time.

  • I owe my boyfriend $2000. I feel like “debt” is something people don’t talk about enough. We hide it, because we are all trying to give off the appearance that we’ve got our entire lives together. I’m here to tell you that no one has it all together. And it’s okay if you have debt. It doesn’t make you a lesser person. It just means it’s time to learn to handle money better! (Guilty!)

  • I’m afraid to talk about the Everest film online incase it defines me. Right now, people know me for that. I hope to become better known for who I am and what I do in the personal development world, that people find me for me and learn my history afterwards.

  • I live in an apartment with other people! (Why is this so taboo? Sorry I don’t own a house at 23 haha!) When my partner Daniel and I moved to the UK, we had the option to rent a house to ourselves, or share a house with other people. We actually make a conscious decision to move in with other people, because we were afraid of becoming isolated (especially since I work from home all day in my business and as a freelancer). It costs the same to get a room in a flat in central Brighton as an entire 3 bedroom house in Cardiff.

  • I’ve never had an alcoholic drink in my life. I went through 3 years of partying at University and never touched drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. I’m afraid of talking about it even though I KNOW it would help someone out there (would have really helped me to have more role models who didn’t drink!). I’ve had conversations before with people who judge me because they think I’m judging THEM for their actions by not drinking. But my decision not to drink has nothing to do with you. Most of my friends drink, and I don’t have a problem with that! But I still get embarrassed telling people I don’t drink sometimes. Working on it!

I think that’s enough truth serum for one day! I actually do feel a weight lifted of my chest. If you feel called to write your own Random Acts of Honesty, let me know! (I would love to not be the only one sharing her secrets on the internet!).

The goalercoaster

You know the bit on the rollercoaster where you’ve been going up up up and then SUDDENLY you drop over the edge and your stomach is still in the air, and they dangle you upside down for what feels like forever and you almost throw up on the person next to you?

That’s what I felt like today. I had a moment today working on my business where everything seemed to go wrong in the space of 5 minutes and I was thinking, “ahhh, when do I get my BREAKTHROUGH?”

I’ve been working and working and working on my business for a year, and I AM seeing results. But some days, they seem to be coming very sloooowly. And I’ll be honest, I sometimes want to pull my hair out.

Am I even on the right path?! How do I know? Why did my launch strategy not go as planned? Will I EVER be as successful as I’d like to be? Why did I pick TODAY to go on a salad detox?

I’m not telling you this because I don’t believe in my goals. I 100% do.
I’m just telling you because I want to share that I have that voice inside my head just like everyone else, telling me I messed up.

I was actually having a conversation with my friend Georgia today about this one girl from our university who seems to have it ALL sorted. The house, the relationships, the job, the holidays, the outfits - everything. And I thought, I wonder if people think I have it all sorted? Because I wouldn’t like to give that impression!

I do NOT have it all sorted. And I’m totally okay with that! I want you to know YOU don’t have to have it all sorted either! Setting HUGE, impossible goals is a wonderful, fantastic, brilliant rollercoaster that I CHOSE to get on. And I wouldn’t get off it for anything. I love being on this goalercoaster (okay, excuse the cheesy phrase, I’m not expecting it to catch on).

It’s ironic, because yesterday my daily blog was titled “the best job ever”. The thing is, I still believe that.

The lows can be low. They can suck. But the highs are worth it 100x over.

So I’m taking a break this evening, but I’ll see y’all on the flip side of this goalercoaster.

Hot vs Cold regret
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“You’re not scared to start your dream. You’re embarrassed to be seen starting small.” - Brendon Burchard

I get so many messages and comments about my goals and dreams that I’m sharing with the world. Most of them are positive, few are negative, but many are negative in disguise (hello, backhanded compliment).

“You’re not charging enough.”
”You’re charging too much.”
”That’s a big goal.”
”Your push ups aren’t on form.”
”I didn’t like that video.”
”You should have done xyz"."

(I’m like, bro, where’s your 100 push ups? Where’s your YouTube channel? It’s easier to judge from the sidelines than to get in the game. Don’t take advice from people who aren’t where you want to be).

People will judge you.

It’s true.

But are you willing to look back on your life and let someone else’s judgement be the reason that you didn’t accomplish your wildest dreams? The reason you didn’t live the life you were capable of? The reason you didn’t fulfil your potential?

The thought of that makes me feel ill.

Psychologists distinguish between two types of regret: hot regret and cold regret.

Hot regret is regretting something you did and wished you hadn’t.

Cold regret is regretting something you didn’t do and wished you had.

It turns out that cold regret haunts us more. You’re better off attempting your crazy, wild, impossible dreams and regretting it, than not attempting them and regretting it.

The day I started showing up online was the day I decided I will NEVER let someone else’s judgement decide my fate. I remember the moment. I was in bed and it just hit me out of nowhere, I was like WHAT AM I DOING. WHY AM I STILL HIDING? If I have a message that could help even one person, then I’m doing the world a disservice by hiding away for fear of judgement.

No more.

I love you all. Even the haters.