If there’s one change I’ve noticed in myself over the last few years it’s that I’ve suddenly become a huge fan of self-improvement. I don’t know this is because of the single mum experience, the feminist experience or simply just the getting a bit older experience: where I used to firmly believe I was fully formed (and, ahem, almost perfect), I now totally embrace the fact that I can change for the better. AND I can have fun doing it!
We are so lucky to live in a time where we have access to so much information and help when it comes to self-improvement, and I’m working with AXA PPP healthcare to revolutionise my life when it comes to Facing – and owning – My Fears.
With help from their online microsite (and a wee bit of soul-searching) I worked out that my own fears are mostly rooted in self-doubt and needless worry, and over the next few months I’ll be doing my very best to overcome these for the better.
My journey began last week with a session with the very lovely Becky, one of AXA PPP healthcare’s Physiologists. Becky is a qualified mental first aider who delivers health assessments to AXA’s clients, providing tailored advice in all areas of health. As a health coach she helps improve wellbeing and reduce risk through lifestyle changes, including giving advice on health and training plans.
I wasn’t sure how far a session with a health coach would make me feel or how effective I’d find it, but in the name of my new pal self-improvement I vowed to jump in with both feet.
First off, Becky was very lovely. Chatting with her was like re-connecting with an old friend: one who was incredibly upbeat and friendly and who had my wellbeing at the forefront of her priority list. We chatted about my history and my health before moving on to chat further about my fears and where I thought they originated.
Becky had some brilliant suggestions that not just addressed the things in my life I want to improve but my all-round holistic health.
One of the points I loved about our session is that she confirmed things I already suspected but had almost been too unconfident to grant myself – like giving myself latitude and time off work to pursue physical activity – and through this advice and discussion I felt really empowered to be able to do this.
We didn’t go overboard in the first session, but instead set three really easy goals for me to work towards this month (annoyingly vagued up a bit by me – I’m not allowed to talk about some of the projects I’m working on!):
1. Be more physically active. Prioritise physical activity over work. Continue with the gym twice a week, introduce tennis with your partner once a week and try a few new classes (spinning, yoga etc). Don’t forget to take a friend to ease worries (Hayley I’ll be hitting you up for Spin classes!!), and remember not only do we all feel insecure about new things but most of the worries we have are not seen by others so try to think positive!
2. Finish your big work project by the end of March. Remember you love to work and have already made huge strides towards achieving your dreams.
3. Create a business plan to progress your ideas and money-making schemes. A very exciting plan!
Becky also sent me some homework to complete, some fear-related probing questions which I’ve already started thinking about:
1. What would you lose by not overcoming your fear?
2. What would you gain by overcoming the fear?
3. Where did the fear come from?
4. What does your fear do to you?
I’m amazed at how great I feel by simply acknowledging that I have a part of my life I want to change for the better. Speaking my thoughts and feelings with regards to my fears totally legitimised how I’ve been thinking and Becky was incredibly supportive and motivating, full of useful advice and ways I can work further towards my final goals.
I can’t wait to report back on my new fitness and work regime: I feel totally inspired and energised already. Thanks, Becky!
I’m working with AXA PPP healthcare on their Own Your Fears project. Click through here to find out how you can own yours!