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Looking back at 2023

The end of a year is a great time to reflect and do an honest evaluation of what went well, what could be improved, and what you want to do differently next year.

The beginning of a year is a great time to put your evaluation into practice.

It helps so much to make a list. (See questions below)

Writing it down imprints the information on your brain in a different way than thinking about it does. 

The brain cannot distinguish between fact and fiction.

Writing out possible solutions/improvements tricks your brain into thinking it’s already happened, that it’s completely possible. 

In Pickleball drills, our coach has us practice hitting the ball even as we wait for our turn. Because we can fool our brain into thinking we’re practicing which still creates the muscle memory.

Same theory works in self-motivation.

Writing down possible solutions/improvements tells your brain that they are possible.

I had the belief my entire life that I wasn’t a good enough athlete to play team sports. 

That I would always play badly, and people would be frustrated by me, not want to play with me.

It took me months to gain the courage to show up at the public courts. I knew no rules, had no skills, no paddle. I even showed up in street clothes convinced that I was there only to watch, to get a lay of the land. (Reflecting back, I see that this was my way of creating safety so I could overcome my fear and get on the court.)

Some nice pickleballers convinced me to play, and while it was humiliating and humbling, it got me on the court, and I’ve been playing ever since.

It’s been a journey. I continue to learn so much about myself. How I let old beliefs hold me back and also, how much I am capable of.

As you can see in the photo above, my team won a competition this week.

In the past, I would’ve told myself that I got lucky, that everyone else carried me, that we won in spite of me. (Yes, I can be that mean to myself.)

But I granted myself permission to admit that I played well. That I was a true contributor to my team and to the win.

That dime-store medal I wear around my neck is priceless to me. It symbolizes so much more than just a team win. It’s a token of a lot of hard work – in skill-building, in showing up, in being my best cheerleader.

The truth is that I tried to cancel the night before. I was scared. Some friends canceled last minute and suddenly I was competing with strangers.  

The same limiting beliefs I’ve always had flooded in. 

No one will want to play with me.

I’m going to suck in comparison.  

Lucky for me when I called my coach the night before, she accepted none of my excuses and gave me no choice. I am so grateful to have had a coach to nudge me out of my safety zone so I could get out of my head and see what I could achieve.

In the suggested evaluation questions below I ask, What am I missing out on by not doing this, because after that competition, the unabashed joy and pride I felt, for hard work paid off, was something I never would have experienced had I not shown up in spite of my fear. 

And now I have evidence, and a really, sweet sensory memory, to refer to next time I feel fear and don’t want to do the thing. 

(As I’ve written before, I am a life coach not because I am perfect or have it all together, but because I truly use on myself all the tools I teach my clients and have reaped, and continue to reap, the rewards.) 

In the spirit of closing out 2023 and starting fresh, and doing the thing, in 2024, I offer you these questions:

  • What is something you want to do but haven’t?

  • Why haven’t you? 

  • No judgment. Just a straightforward answer. Pick what comes to mind.

  • Is it money? Time? Fear?

  • Is my reason for not doing the thing actually true? 

  • Is it a fact? Or is it a story I tell myself

  • Is it an unchallenged belief I’ve carried for along time? 

  • What am I missing out on by believing this?

  • What thoughts/beliefs do I need to let go of to do the thing?

  • What thoughts/beliefs do I want to have instead?

My wish for you this coming year is that you create a way to do the thing(s) you want to do.

That you find the time, money, or courage to take one small step toward something that will bring you joy and purpose. 

That will make your days something you look forward to rather than something you need to get through until you can crawl back under the sheets again.

If this work resonates with you, thing about booking coaching sessions with me.

It’s an opportunity to get a taste of what coaching with me is like.

To learn to think in possibility versus limitation.

To drop old stories and beliefs and become the person you know you want to be.



Here's what to do next...

  1. 1:1 sessions where you work with me for three months to clarify and move toward your goals, working with the obstacles that have been getting in your way. I have successfully helped my 1:1 clients find their heaven on earth in both their personal and professional endeavors. Book a complimentary consultation. 

  2. Subscribe to my email newsletter. You will be at the head of the line to get emails such as this one, as well as notifications about upcoming workshops, freebies, etc.

  3. Follow me on Instagram at: @franbellcoaching where I offer mindfulness tips and tools to help you navigate your life.

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