There are a lot of models, frameworks and theories available offering support to help develop our wellbeing. It has been my quest to formulate a contemporary model from my experience. I have worked as a people manager, leader and coach for over 20 years therefore, my findings are based on many conversations & tried and tested methods. I offer here, some insights that may be helpful for those seeking personal growth and an increased sense of wellbeing.
The 5 Pillars:
- Connect to self (spirituality, self-awareness, self-care, consciousness, stay grounded, sense of self).
First, we must start with self. We need to ground ourselves by getting to know ourselves better.
- Who are you? How conscious (present) are you?
- What can bring you joy?
- What or who no longer serves you?
- Are you inviting positive or negative energy into your life?
- What armour do you wear?
- What can you do to quieten the inner critic?
- Are you able to be the observer of your emotions?
This is about knowing who you are. It includes recognising what your emotional triggers are. How you respond to a situation or person. Is this conditioned behaviour?
We need to become more authentic and standing in our truth, not acting for the benefit of others in order to fit in.
- Connect to other (relationships, adult-self, compassion, empathy, oneness, WE).
Secondly, we need to think deeply about our relationships. Are they mutually beneficial? Think carefully about the relationships you have at work, home, family and friends.
- Do your relationships work for you?
- Do you feel safe and trusted?
- Are you able to feel vulnerable? Or are you judged?
- Do some interactions make you react like a child?
- How compassionate are you? Can you walk a mile in someone else’s shoes?
- Do you consider yourself lesser or more than others?
- How high is your emotional intelligence?
- Are you able to put distance before a reaction?
Forming deeper connections with people will help to reduce anxiety & stress, bring more joy, and help you be more present. It requires you to listen deeply. Show up & be there. It is a shift in mindset from assuming we are separate from other, rather that we are all from the same source. The benefits of connecting to others include increased productivity, collaboration, creative problem solving and a sense of fulfilment. A basic human need is to be seen, heard and valued.
- Feed the body: Exercise/eating/sleeping/mindfulness meditation (develop a daily practice to include physical & mental exercise, resilience, & setting boundaries)
As obvious as it seems, a healthy body is directly correlated with a healthy mind. Take regular exercise, get 7-8 hours sleep, eat well, hug a bit more and have a routine.
- What exercise routine can I fit into my week?
- What foods do I need to cut down on?
- What foods do I need to increase in my diet?
- What habits do I need to break?
- On a scale of 1-10 how much do I want to become healthier?
It takes 21 days to change a habit, that’s all. This is not about deciding to run a marathon, never having run before. It is about baby steps in order to change for the good. Nothing scary, just one day at a time for 21 days. Then it becomes a routine.
For those with sleep issues: this normally stems from a belief system: “I’ve never been a good sleeper”. We need to stop this negative self -talk and replace it with positive self-talk and actions for 21 days. What have you got to lose?
An exercise routine should be realistic and include some time to be mindful: A walk-in nature, meditation, yoga etc.
- Connect to Purpose (understand values, ethical alignment, how you can be of service, gratitude, intention).
An important part of wellbeing is the connection to what you are doing in your life. This often gets misinterpreted and people may get overwhelmed when they can’t find their purpose. It is often better to start focusing on smaller ideas.
- What makes you happy at work and at home?
- What motivates you?
- What did your best day look like? What were you doing?
- What are your core values?
- Are your values aligned with where you work and what you do?
- How are you of service?
- What are you grateful for?
Often, we find our purpose lies in being of service to others. A good starting point is thinking about a really great experience you have had and what you were doing, not just the successful outcome, but what you did to get there. Think how Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ultimately reaches self-actualisation once basic needs are met. Sometimes we find we have climbed to the top of a career ladder only to discover it was leaning against the wrong wall. Purpose (self-actualisation) is flexible, it will change during a lifetime. Therefore, it is about truly understanding who you are today and how you can be of service by being conscious. It often requires stepping out of our comfort zone.
- Nurture Growth (learn, mastery, challenge status quo, let go of what does not serve you, limiting beliefs, conditioned behaviour).
Finallly, it is important for our wellbeing to feel like we are growing as people. The human experience includes continuous learning and development. This is what helps to motivates us. Growth is about wanting to move your energy and focus to a more positive space. This requires us to let go of things that have held us back. To find the courage to move to towards the things that bring us more happiness. To challenge how and why you have behaved the way you have in the past. And move from a place of fear to love.
- What would I like to learn?
- What am I doing because it’s always been done that way?
- How can I challenge the status quo?
- What limiting beliefs do I have?
- What makes me fearful?
- What do I need to do in order to move into a more positive space?
Personal growth requires us to be conscious. In order to change habits and learn new things we need to first establish what helps and hinders our wellbeing. Then actively seek out people and work that may support our growth. Emotional growth requires us to go inside ourselves and understand what we need in order to change any negative thoughts we may have. It is training our brains to not go to a negative de-fault thought and instead replace it with new positive, conscious thoughts and actions.
To increase our wellbeing, we need to change habits, develop new ways of thinking and shift our energy into a positive space. It requires practice, commitment and being conscious.
Recommendation: Take 1 thing you would like to work on under each heading and practice for 21 days. See what happens!